Difference Between Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Comparative vs Superlative Adjectives

As adjectives play a major role in English, knowing the difference between comparative and superlative adjectives is important. Although it is true that there are certain forms of adjectives that may be quite similar in appearance of forming, there are succinct differences. Difference between the comparative and superlative adjectives is the main focus of this article which also discusses what they are, how they are formed, and their usages in the process of communicating via English. To begin with, comparative and superlative are two forms of adjectives that are used to draw distinctions between a group of people or things.

What is a Comparative Adjective?

A comparative adjective compares two things that are on the same level. The word comparative suggests the idea that ‘measured or judged by estimating the similarity or dissimilarity between one thing and another.’ In English grammar, comparison can be formed by means of comparative adjectives using two means. That is by either using than or as……as. The word than is used after the adjective whereas the as….as form is used with the adjective in between.


• My sister is prettier than me.

• Our house is bigger than his.

• Their house is more beautiful than ours.

• I think science is more difficult than mathematics.


• He is twice as old as his girlfriend.

• She is as good as her father.

When the word than is used, the adjective also changes its form. It takes a different form either by adding a suffix, ‘-er’(applicable for adjectives with two or fewer syllables) or by adding the word, ‘more’ in front of the adjective. (applicable for adjectives with more than two syllables). When the second type of comparison is used, as……..as is used with an adjective of its root form.There are irregular comparatives too:

E.g. good > better than                               bad > worse than

What is a Superlative Adjective?

A superlative adjective is a form of an adjective used to compare one person or one thing with each and every person or thing in a particular group. We use the superlative to talk about someone or something having greater degree of some quality. The superlative of English grammar is typically formed by adding the suffix ‘-est’ to the basic form of the adjective.


• My sister is the prettiest in the class.

• Our house is the biggest house on St. Peter’s Lane.

• Their house is the most beautiful house in the village.

• I think science is the most difficult subject.

Apart from the regular adjectives which take the ‘est’ form, there are irregular superlatives too:

E.g. good> the best                        bad > the worst


Difference Between Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

What is the difference between Comparative and Superlative Adjectives?

• Comparative adjective is used to compare a quality of two people or two things while a superlative adjective is used to compare a quality of a person or thing with everyone in their group.

• Comparative is formed by the suffix ‘-er’ while superlative is formed by the suffix ‘-est.’

The above makeup the two main differences between a comparative and a superlative adjective. Thus, it is so simply comprehensible that they differ from each other in a distinctive manner.