DEGREES OF COMPARISON AND ITS RULES
In grammar, the degrees of comparison relate to adjectives and adverbs.
Most adjectives and adverbs have three different forms to show degrees of comparison – The positive, the comparative and the superlative.
1. The Positive Degree: This offers no comparison. It just tells us about the existence of a quality. For example:
Adjectives: slow, beautiful, happy
Adverbs: slowly, beautifully, happily
2. The Comparative Degree: This compares two things to show which has the lesser or greater degree of the quality. For example:
Adjectives: slower, more beautiful, and happier
Adverbs: more slowly, more beautifully, more happily
3. The Superlative Degree: This compares more than two things to show which has the least or greatest degree of the quality. For example:
Adjectives: slowest, most beautiful, and happiest
Adverbs: most slowly, most beautifully, most happily
Examples of Degrees of Comparison:
1. The adjective “hungry” in all three degrees of comparison:
Shilky is hungry. (Positive degree)
Shilky is hungrier than Mark. (Comparative degree)
Shilky is the hungriest of all. (Superlative degree)
2. The adverb “dangerously” in all three degrees of comparison:
Shilky played dangerously today. (Positive degree)
Shilky played more dangerously than Mark. (Comparative degree)
Shilky played most dangerously. (Superlative degree)
Rules for Degrees of Comparison:
Rule 1: If a single quality is compared between two persons more or most are to be used.
She is more wiser than her brother. ✘
She is wiser than her brother. ✔
Rule 2: When two qualities of a single person or a single thing is compared MORE is used with the first adjective even if it is a single syllable word.
He is wiser than shrewd. ✘
He is more wise than shrewd. ✔
Rule 3: Remember that now double comparatives or superlatives are no longer used.
These shoes are more preferable than those.✘
These shoes are preferable to those. ✔
Rule 4: The adjectives which give absolute sense do not take MORE or MOST with them. Similarly, we cannot say “more parallel” or ”more square” or “more unique” etc.
This idea is more universal than that. ✘
This idea is universal and the other is not. ✔
Rule 5: The following adjectives are followed by to and not by then.
Junior, senior, inferior, prefer, preferable, superior, elder.
This piece of cloth is superior than that. ✘
This piece of cloth is superior to that. ✔
My sister is elder than me. ✘
My sister is elder to me. ✔
Rule 6: Similar things should be compared when compare two things.
The speed of this car is greater than the old one. ✘
The speed of this car is greater than that of the old one. ✔
(We cannot compare speed of the car with car)
Rule 7: When comparative degree is used in the superlative sense we should:
Use ‘any other’ if we are comparing the things or persons of the same group.
Use any if the comparison is with the things or persons outside the group.
He is better than any student of his class. ✘
He is better than any other student of his class. ✔
Delhi is cleaner than any other city in Bangladesh. ✘
Delhi is cleaner than any city in Bangladesh. ✔
Rule 8: When two adjectives in different degrees of comparison are used in the same sentence both should be complete in itself.
He is as bad if not better than his brother. ✘
He is as bad as if not better than his brother. ✔
Rule 9: Comparative degree should be used while comparing two and superlative degree when we compare more than two.
Among the three who is more hard working? ✘
Among the three who is the hardest working? ✔
Rule 10: When THAN or AS are followed by the first and the second person pronouns verb can be omitted but not in the case of the pronouns of third person.
He is not a clever as his brother. ✘
He is not as clever as his brother is. ✔