Concept: Degrees of Comparison
What are the Degrees of Comparison?
- Adjectives used to describe, qualify or modify a noun in comparison with another noun are called as degree of comparison.
- Degree of comparison is used when we compare one thing or person with another.
- There are three degrees of comparison.
- Positive degree
- Comparative degree
- Superlative degree
Examples with Explanation:
a) Rahul is a tall boy.
b) Harish is taller than Rahul
c) Arun is the tallest among them.
- The word ‘tall’ is an adjective to a positive degree. This adjective is in the simplistic form of the adjective in the first sentence it just represents ‘what is Rahul’s height?’. There is no comparison with another person or thing.
- The word ‘taller’ is in the comparative degree. It represents a comparison made between two things or people.
- The word ‘tallest’ is in the superlative degree. The adjective is in the highest form. It represents the highest form of quality.
Rules for Forming of Comparative and Superlative Degrees:
1. The adjective forms in the comparative have the ending–‘er’ to the word.
For a positive degree, the word is created by adding ‘est’.
2. If the positive degree of adjective ends with the letter ‘e’, then the letter ‘r’ is added to form the comparative degree and ‘st’ is added to form the superlative degree.
3. The letter ‘i’ is added before ‘er’ and ‘est’ for a comparative and superlative degree.
4. Spelling comparative: if the positive degree has only one syllable and ends with one consonant, and the consonant is followed by a vowel, this consonant is doubled before adding ‘est’.
5. Sometimes adjectives cannot be made into comparative form by changing spelling, so a word is added before the adjective. For adjectives of two syllables or more than two-syllable, add ‘more’ before it to form the comparative and ‘most’ to form the superlative degree of comparison.
6. With the change in degree, some adjectives observe the change of word; instead of spelling change, the new words are used.
Spelling changes to a superlative degree: when the letter ‘y’ is followed by a vowel, then the letter ‘y’ does not change to ‘i’ but stays the same.