Adjectives and Adverbs: Forms for Comparison
A common error in using adjectives and adverbs arises from using the wrong form for comparison.
Incorrect: She is the poorest of the two women.
She is poor. (positive form)
She is the poorer of the two women. (comparative form)
She is the poorest of them all. (superlative form)
Many one- and two-syllable adjectives and one-syllable adverbs may be compared by adding -er or -est.
sweet, sweeter, sweetest
high, higher, highest
silly, sillier, silliest
big, bigger, biggest
Usually, with words of three or more syllables, don’t add -er or -est. Use more or most in front of the words. Never use both the -er or -est suffix and more or most.
Example: efficient, more efficient, most efficient
Incorrect: He is more efficienter at using the PowerPoint program than his boss is.
Correct: He is more efficient at using the PowerPoint program than his boss is.
Some words have irregular comparative and superlative forms.
bad, worse, worst
good, better, best
Incorrect: She is the best candidate of the two for the job.
Correct: She is the better candidate of the two for the job.
When comparing most -ly adverbs, keep the -ly and add more or most.
Incorrect: She spoke quicker than he did.
Correct: She spoke quickly.
She spoke more quickly than he did.
Incorrect: Talk quieter.
Correct: Talk quietly.
Talk more quietly.
Are these sentences correct or incorrect?
1. She is even curiouser than her little brother.
2. I can run more faster than you can.
3. I can run more quickly than you can.
4. My brother is the youngest of the two of us.
5. She is the best of the two sisters at braiding hair.
Pop Quiz Answers
1. Incorrect (more curious)
2. Incorrect (faster)
4. Incorrect (younger)
5. Incorrect (better)
Posted on Sunday, April 1, 2007, at 3:45 am