Comparative and Superlative Adverbs
Forming Comparative and Superlative AdverbsAn adverb can be in one of the following three degrees.
- The positive degree.
- widely, beautifully, well, hard
- The comparative degree.
- more widely, more beautifully, better, harder
- The superlative degree.
- most widely, most beautifully, best, hardest
Are You Good at Forming Comparative and Superlative Adverbs?Here's a quick test. (Hint: Check whether you're looking for the comparative degree or the superlative degree before clicking.)
More Examples of Comparative AdverbsHere are some more examples of comparative adverbs:
- The goat can see better than you think. ("better" — comparative of "well")
- Try to paint the edges more carefully; it will save time later. ("more carefully" — comparative of "carefully")
- He tries harder than most, but he has no aptitude for languages. ("harder" — comparative of "hard")
- The engine operates less efficiently with alcohol. ("less efficiently" — comparative of "efficiently")
More Examples of Superlative AdverbsHere are some more examples of superlative adverbs:
- I have found that the office runs best with the radio on and the heating down. ("best" — superlative of "well")
- The gift is most gratefully received. ("most gratefully" — superlative of "gratefully")
- It was obvious that they were not used to high heels, but Karen moved least gracefully of all. ("least gracefully" — superlative of "gracefully")
- She answered most abruptly . ("most abruptly": superlative of "abruptly")
Forming Comparative and Superlative AdverbsThe table below shows the rules for forming comparative and superlative adverbs:
|Type of Adverb||Example in the Positive Degree||How to Form the Comparative||How to Form the Superlative|
|one syllable||add er||add est|
|more than one syllable||add less or more||add most or least|
|irregular||no rules||no rules|
Only Do It Once!In general, comparative and superlative adverbs do not cause difficulties for native English speakers. However, the mistake of using a double comparative or a double superlative is fairly common in speech. This error is more common with the comparative and superlative adjectives, but is occasionally seen with adverbs too. For example:
- Of all the fish in Europe, pike attack the most fastest. (This is a double superlative. The word "fastest" is the superlative adverb from "fast." It is a mistake to use the word "most" as well.)