Hello and welcome to another installment of Grappling Grammar! In today’s post we will explain the use and purpose of comparatives and superlatives to help to give your English level an extra boost! 


Comparative adjectives are used to compare two objects or people and to say if one person or object has more of a quality than the other, these qualities can include size, height or price. These comparatives are often followed by “than” such as “bigger than”. 


We use superlative adjectives such as the biggest or the fastest to say that one thing or person has the highest quality of something within a group of other things or people. Here is an example: “Adam is the tallest student in the class.” (Adam es el alumno más alto de la clase.)


How are comparatives and superlatives formed? 


Depending on the structure of the adjective, a comparative or superlative can be formed in many different ways. 


Comparative Superlative 
For most single syllable adjectives, add -er for comparatives or -est for superlatives small= smaller

“My house is smaller than his.” 

Mi casa es más pequeña que la suya.

small= the smallest

“My brother is the smallest person in my family.”

Mi hermano es la persona más pequeña en mi familia. 

For short adjectives that end in a vowel + a consonant, double the consonant and add -er or -est Big= bigger

“An elephant is bigger than a mouse.”

Un elefante es más grande que un ratón.

Big= the biggest

“Russia is the biggest country in the world.”

Rusia es el país más grande del mundo. 

For two syllable adjectives ending in “y”, change the “y” for an “i” and add -er or -est Heavy= heavier

“This box is heavier than that one.” 

Esta caja es más pesada que esa.

Heavy= the heaviest

“The Sun is the heaviest object in the solar system.” 

El sol es el objeto más pesado del sistema solar. 

For longer adjectives (more than 3 syllables or 2 syllables ending with ful) put more or less at the front of the adjective for comparatives and the most or the least for superlativesExpensive= more/less expensive 

“This car is more/less expensive than that one.” 

Este coche es más/menos caro que ese. 

Expensive= the most/least expensive

“This is the most expensive car in the world.”

Este es el coche más caro en el mundo. 


There are also a number of irregular adjectives that don’t follow the standard comparative and superlative structures, here are some examples: 


  • Good – better – the best 


  • Bad – worse – the worst


  • Far – farther/further – the farthest/furthest


We can also use expressions like (not) as … as … to express equality or difference which can be seen below: 


  • “This restaurant was as good as it was the last time we visited.” Este restaurante era tan bueno como la última vez que lo visitamos.
  • “My coffee isn’t as strong as yours.” Mi café no es tan fuerte como el tuyo. 


So that’s all the essentials to understanding the use of comparatives and superlatives. Download our worksheet to practice using these expressions and level up your English here!