Adjectives Used In Comparisons – Part 1 – Grammar Lesson

CHAPTER 22.  ADJECTIVES USED IN COMPARISONS: PART 1

As well as being used to describe persons and things, adjectives which refer to qualities can also be used to compare two or more different persons or things. For instance, in the following sentences, the adjectives used in comparisons are underlined.
e.g. He is as tall as his brother.
She is older than her sister.
They are the youngest students in the class.

1. Positive forms of adjectives preceded and followed by As

The unaltered form of an adjective is often referred to as the positive form of the adjective. In the preceding chapter, only the positive form of adjectives was used.

The positive forms of adjectives referring to qualities can be used in making certain types of comparisons. For example, in the following sentences, the positive forms of the adjectives proud and intelligent are combined with the word as in order to make comparisons.
e.g. She is as proud as a peacock.
They are as intelligent as I am.

When used in making comparisons, the positive form of an adjective is usually employed as a predicate adjective, preceded and followed by the word as. This construction is summarized below, followed by examples.

  noun, pronoun or  to be  positive  noun, pronoun or
  other expression   +  or other   +  as   +  form of   +  as   +  other expression
  representing 1st  linking  adjective  representing 2nd
  thing being compared   verb  thing being compared
  Swans  are  as  white  as  snow.
  Tom  is  as  tall  as  his father.

This type of construction can be used to indicate that the things being compared are equal in some respect. For instance, the first example indicates that swans and snow are equally white. The second example indicates that Tom and his father are equally tall.

The sentence She is as proud as a peacock gives an example of a traditional English saying which compares a person having a certain quality to an animal which is noted for possessing that quality. In the following sentences, the traditional expressions are underlined.
e.g. He is as clever as a monkey.
She is as wise as an owl.
My sister looks as pretty as a princess.

The use of this construction with as to compare two different types of thing, such as a person and an animal, results in a type of comparison referred to as a simile.

See Exercise 1.

The meaning of an expression using as, followed by an adjective, followed by as can be qualified by adverbs such as notalmosttwicethree timeshalfone-third and so on. The adverbs in the following sentences are underlined.
e.g. He is not as hard-working as his brother.
She is almost as tall as he is.
Her sister is twice as old as I am.
A millimeter is one-tenth as long as a centimeter.

As shown below, in such a construction, the adverb is placed before the first occurrence of the word as.

  noun, pronoun or  noun, pronoun or
  other expression  to be  positive  other expression
  representing       +  or other   +  adverb   +  as   +  form of   +  as   +  representing
  1st thing  linking  adjective  2nd thing
  being compared  verb  being compared
  He  is  nearly  as  clever  as  his uncle.
  The trees  are  not  as  tall  as  the house.

See Exercise 2.

a. The positive form combined with a noun

The construction as, followed by an adjective, followed by as can also be combined with a noun, as shown in the following examples.
e.g. Gail is as strong a swimmer as Beth.
Mabel is as clever an administrator as Robin.
The girls are as good students as the boys.

In the first example, Gail is being compared as a swimmer to Beth. In the second example, Mabel is being compared as an administrator to Robin. In the third example, the girls are being compared as students to the boys.

As illustrated in these examples, if the noun following the adjective is a singular countable noun, it must be separated from the adjective by the indefinite article a or an. The position of a or an is indicated in the summary below.

  positive  a or
  as   +  form of    +  an     +  noun    +  as
  adjective
  He is  as  fine  a  man  as  his father.
  She is  as  good  an  instructor  as  her colleague.

In the case of plural nouns, no article is required.
e.g. The boys are as reliable workers as one can find.
They are as powerful athletes as their competitors.

See Exercise 3.

b. The use of ellipsis

The construction as followed by an adjective, followed by as, can also be combined with longer phrases and clauses, as illustrated in the following examples.
e.g. New York is as distant from San Francisco as Boston is from London.
Music is as important to Cora as literature is to her brother.

In the first example, the distance of New York from San Francisco is being compared to the distance of Boston from London. In the second example, the importance of music to Cora is being compared to the importance of literature to her brother.

The preceding examples illustrate the use of ellipsis. The sentences could also be written as follows. The words which would usually be omitted are enclosed in square brackets.
e.g. New York is as distant from San Francisco as Boston is [distant] from London.
Music is as important to Cora as literature is [important] to her brother.
In such sentences, the adjective in the second part of the sentence is usually omitted, in order to make the sentence less awkward.

Ellipsis is also commonly used following a noun representing the second thing being compared. For instance, in the following sentences, the final verbs are omitted.
e.g. He is as tall as his brother.
I am as good a swimmer as her sisters.

These sentences could also be written:
e.g. He is as tall as his brother is.
I am as good a swimmer as her sisters are.

In informal English, the final verb is usually not omitted following a personal pronoun representing the second thing being compared.
e.g. I am as tall as he is.
She is as good a swimmer as I am.

However, in formal English, the final verb following a personal pronoun representing the second thing being compared is sometimes omitted.
e.g. I am as tall as he.
She is as good a swimmer as I.

c. The use of the subjective case

As shown above, when a personal pronoun is used in a comparison to represent the second thing being compared, the subjective case of the pronoun should be used. The reason for this is that the pronoun is the subject of a verb, even when the verb is omitted by means of ellipsis.

In informal English, the objective case of such personal pronouns is sometimes used.
e.g. I am as tall as him.
She is as good as swimmer as me.
However, this use of the objective case is considered to be grammatically incorrect.

See Exercise 4.

2. Comparative and superlative forms of adjectives which use endings

As pointed out in the discussion on the possessive forms of nouns, some elements of English grammar are derived from Teutonic languages, such as German, while other elements are derived from Romance languages, particularly French.

Many English adjectives follow the model of French adjectives. These adjectives are combined with adverbs in order to express different types of comparison. In the following examples, the adjectives careful and excitable are combined with the adverbs more and most.
e.g. She is more careful than I am.
He is the most excitable boy in the class.

However, in general, the shortest and most commonly used English adjectives follow the model of languages such as German. These adjectives use endings in order to express different types of comparison.
e.g. She is taller than I am.
He is the oldest boy in the class.

The adjectives which use endings in order to express different types of comparison include most one-syllable adjectives, and two-syllable adjectives ending in y. For example:
brave
tall
easy
happy

In the above examples, brave and tall are one-syllable adjectives, while easy and happy are two-syllable adjectives ending in y.

A few other two-syllable adjectives are also sometimes used with endings. For example:
able
simple
clever
quiet
narrow
shallow

It should be noted that one-syllable past participles used as adjectives are usually not used with endings.

a. Comparative forms of adjectives which use endings

The comparative form of an adjective is most often used to compare things which differ in some respect. In the following examples, the comparative forms of adjectives are underlined.
e.g. Louis is younger than Mark.
You are a better actor than he is.

The comparative form of adjectives which use endings is formed with the ending er. As illustrated below, the spelling rules which apply when adding the ending er to an adjective are the same as those which apply when adding the ending ed to a verb.

i. Spelling Rules

In most cases, the ending er is simply added to the positive form of the adjective. For example:

Positive FormComparative Form
  fast  faster
  strong  stronger
  tall  taller
  young  younger

However, when an adjective ends in a silent e, the silent e is dropped before the ending er is added. For example:

Positive FormComparative Form
  brave  braver
  close  closer
  late  later

When an adjective ends in y preceded by a consonant, the y is changed to i before the ending er is added. For example:

Positive FormComparative Form
  dry  drier
  early  earlier
  easy  easier

When an adjective ends in a single consonant other than wx or y, following a single stressed vowel, the final consonant is doubled before the ending er is added. For example:

Positive FormComparative Form
  big  bigger
  hot  hotter
  sad  sadder

When an adjective ends in wx or y, following a single stressed vowel, the final consonant is not doubled before the ending er is added. For example:

Positive FormComparative Form
  slow  slower
  lax  laxer
  grey  greyer

It should be kept in mind that when an adjective ends in a single consonant following two vowels, the final consonant is not doubled before the ending er is added. For example:

Positive FormComparative Form
  loud  louder
  neat  neater
  soon  sooner

See Exercise 5.

ii. Irregular adjectives

A few of the adjectives which are used with endings have irregular comparative forms. The comparative forms of the irregular English adjectives are as follows.

Positive FormComparative Form
  bad  worse
  far  farther or further
  good  better
  little  less
  many  more
  much  more

As shown above, the adjective far has two comparative forms. The distinction is sometimes made that farther is used to refer to physical distances, while further is used to refer to figurative distances. For example:
The farther side of the river is more picturesque than this side.
Nothing could have been further from my mind.

It should be noted that the adjectives many and much both have the same comparative form, more.

See Exercise 6.

iii. The comparative form followed by Than

When used in comparisons, the comparative forms of adjectives are usually followed by the word than. For instance, the way in which two things differ in some respect can be expressed by using the comparative form of an adjective as a predicate adjective followed by than.
e.g. Paul is wiser than Greg.
The tree is taller than the house.
The first sentence indicates that Paul possesses greater wisdom than Greg. The second sentence indicates that the tree possesses greater height than the house.

This type of construction is summarized below, followed by examples.

  noun, pronoun or  to be  comparative  noun, pronoun or
  other expression    +  or other    +  form of         +  than    +  other expression
  representing 1st  linking  adjective  representing 2nd
  thing being compared   verb  thing being compared
  Jill  is  shorter  than  Maureen.
  Ice  feels  colder  than  snow.
  Driving a car  is  easier  than  riding a horse.

See Exercise 7.

iv. The comparative form followed by a noun, followed by Than

The comparative form of an adjective followed by than can also be combined with a noun.
e.g. She is a better cook than her sister.
He has wiser ideas than they do.

It should be noted that in this type of construction, when a singular countable noun is used after the adjective, the comparative form of the adjective follows the indefinite article a or an. This position of a or an is indicated in the summary below.

  a or  comparative
  verb    +  an    +  form of      +  noun    +  than
  adjective
  Kate  is  a  braver  person  than  you are.
  Steel  is  a  stronger  material  than  iron.
  He  has  a  busier  schedule  than  I do.

It should be noted that this position of a or an is in contrast to the word order found in the construction with as. For instance, in the following examples, the adjectives are underlined and the indefinite article a is printed in bold type.
e.g. Kate is as brave a person as Robin.
Kate is a braver person than I am.

In the case of nouns which are uncountable or plural, no article is required. In the following examples, the uncountable or plural nouns preceding the word than are underlined.
e.g. We produce sweeter honey than they do.
They are better actors than we are.
She has warmer gloves than her friend does.

See Exercise 8.

The comparative form of an adjective followed by than can also be combined with longer phrases and clauses, as illustrated in the following examples.
e.g. The air is fresher in the mountains than in the valleys.
The work seems easier once one becomes familiar with it than it does at first.

v. The use of ellipsis

In comparisons using the comparative form of an adjective, the second half of the comparison is often omitted completely, when it is considered obvious what is meant. In each of the following examples, the part of the comparison which might normally be omitted is enclosed in square brackets.
e.g. Things could get worse [than they are now].
I do not want to walk much further [than this].
Would you like more milk [than you already have]?

vi. The use of the subjective case

In comparisons using than, personal pronouns following than should be in the subjective case.
e.g. I am taller than he is.
She is a better student than I am.

In formal English, the final verb of such sentences is sometimes omitted.
e.g. I am taller than he.
She is a better student than I.

In informal English, the objective case of a personal pronoun is often used after than.
e.g. I am taller than him.
She is a better student than me.
However, this use of the objective case is considered to be grammatically incorrect.

See Exercise 9.

vii. Progressive comparisons

As well as being used in combination with than to compare objects which differ in some respect, the comparative form of an adjective can also be used to describe a characteristic which is becoming progressively more pronounced.
e.g. The waves are growing rougher and rougher.
The sounds became fainter and fainter.

The first example indicates that the waves are growing progressively rougher than they were before. The second example indicates that the sounds became progressively fainter than they were before. The meaning expressed in these two examples can also be expressed as follows.
e.g. The waves are growing increasingly rough.
The sounds became increasingly faint.

In this type of construction, the comparative form of an adjective is used as a predicate adjective, and is repeated. The two occurrences of the adjective are connected by the word and. This construction is summarized below, followed by examples.

  noun, pronoun or  linking verb,  comparative  comparative
  other expression    +  such as       +  form of       +  and    +  form of
  representing thing  to grow or  adjective  adjective
  being described  to become
  The noise  is becoming  louder  and  louder.
  The lights  grew  brighter  and  brighter.

In informal English, the verb to get is often used in this type of construction.
e.g. The noise is getting louder and louder.
The lights got brighter and brighter.

See Exercise 10.

b. Superlative forms of adjectives which use endings

The superlative form of an adjective is used to describe something which possesses a characteristic in the greatest degree. In the following examples, the superlative forms of the adjectives are underlined.
e.g. Louis is the youngest boy in our class.
She is the best actress I have ever seen.

i. Spelling rules

The superlative form of adjectives which use endings is formed with the ending est. As illustrated in the following table, the spelling rules for adding the ending est to the positive form of an adjective are the same as those which apply when adding the ending er.

Illustration of Spelling Rules for Adjectives which use Endings

Final Letter(s) of Positive Form of AdjectivePositive FormComparative FormSuperlative Form
  two consonants (other than y)  fast  faster  fastest
  y preceded by a consonant  dry  drier  driest
  silent e  brave  braver  bravest
  one consonant preceded by 2 vowels  loud  louder  loudest
  wx or y preceded by a vowel  new  newer  newest
  one consonant (other than wx or y),  fat  fatter  fattest
    preceded by a single stressed vowel

See Exercise 11.

ii. Irregular adjectives

As can be seen from the following table, the superlative forms of the English irregular adjectives are closely related to the comparative forms of these adjectives.

English Irregular Adjectives

Positive FormComparative FormSuperlative Form
  bad  worse  worst
  far  farther or further  farthest or furthest
  good  better  best
  little  less  least
  many  more  most
  much  more  most

It should be noted that the adjective far has two superlative forms, farthest and furthest, corresponding to the two comparative forms farther and further; and also that the adjectives many and much share the same superlative form, most, corresponding to the comparative form more.

See Exercise 12.

iii. The superlative form preceded by The

The superlative forms of adjectives are usually preceded by the, and followed by the nouns they modify. For example, in the following sentences, the superlative forms tallest and fastest are preceded by the and followed by the nouns boy and runner.
e.g. Frank is the tallest boy in the class.
Nancy is the fastest runner on the team.
The first example indicates that no other boy in the class is as tall as Frank. The second example indicates that no one else on the team is as fast a runner as Nancy.

This type of construction is summarized below, followed by examples.

  superlative
  the    +  form of       +  noun
  adjective
  This is  the  newest  building  in the city.
  They are  the  best  students  I have met.

It should be noted that this use of the is consistent with the previously discussed use of the to refer to things which are considered unique in some way.

See Exercises 13 and 14.

It should also be noted that the superlative forms of adjectives can be preceded by possessive adjectives, instead of by the definite article the. In the following examples, the possessive adjectives are underlined.
e.g. My worst suspicions were aroused.
He promised to give it his closest attention.
Jack’s best friend is a member of the hockey team.

iv. The use of ellipsis

When the superlative forms of adjectives are employed to make comparisons, ellipsis is commonly used in the second part of the comparisons. The following are examples of the use of ellipsis in this type of comparison.
e.g. She is the best doctor I know.
This is the worst thing that could have happened.

These two sentences could also be written as follows. The words which would usually be omitted are enclosed in square brackets.
e.g. She is the best doctor [of all the doctors that] I know.
This is the worst thing [of all the things] that could have happened.

It should be noted that the noun following the superlative form of an adjective is often omitted, when it is obvious what is meant. This is illustrated in the following examples.
e.g. That star is the brightest.
These cookies are the best.

These sentences could also be written as follows. The nouns which would usually be omitted are enclosed in square brackets.
e.g. That star is the brightest [star].
These cookies are the best [cookies].

v. The comparison of one or more things with a group

When one or more things are compared with a group to which they do not belong, the comparative form of an adjective is normally used.
e.g. Alan is younger than all the other boys in the class.
In this example, Alan is being compared with all the other boys in the class. Thus, he is being compared with a group to which he does not belong, and the comparative form younger is used.

In general, the presence of the word other in the second half of a comparison usually indicates that one or more things are being compared with a group to which they do not belong.

In contrast, when one or more things are compared with members of a group to which they belong, the superlative form of an adjective is normally used.
e.g. Alan is the youngest of all the boys in the class.
In this example, Alan is being compared with members of the group identified as all the boys in the class. This is a group to which he belongs. Therefore, the superlative form youngest is used.

The following examples provide a further illustration of the difference between the two types of comparison.
e.g. The girls are neater than the boys.
The girls are the best students in the school.

In the first example, the girls are being compared with the boys, a group to which they do not belong. Therefore, the comparative form neater is used.

In the second example, the girls are being compared with members of a group consisting of all the students in the school, a group to which the girls belong. Therefore, the superlative form best is used.

EXERCISES for Chapter 22

  1. Make up your own comparisons, using the pronouns heshe and I with the adjectives given below. For example:
    brave
    She is as brave as a lion.

stubborn
He was as stubborn as a mule.

  1. strong
  2. beautiful
  3. slow
  4. frightened
  5. busy
  6. happy

  7. The following table gives the ages of five children:

Child’s NameAge (years)
  Ruth  18
  Angela  12
  Tom   6
  May   3
  Joe   1

Write sentences comparing the ages of the children in each of the pairs indicated below. Use expressions such as twicethree timesfour timesfive timesone-halfone-third and one-quarter. For example:
Ruth and Tom
Ruth is three times as old as Tom.

Angela and Tom
Angela is twice as old as Tom

May and Angela
May is one-quarter as old as Angela.

  1. Angela and May
  2. Tom and May
  3. Tom and Angela
  4. Ruth and May
  5. Tom and Ruth
  6. Tom and Joe
  7. May and Tom
  8. Angela and Joe
  9. Joe and May
  10. May and Joe
  11. Rewrite each of the following sentences as a comparison, using the word or words given in brackets as the second part of the comparison. For example:
    He has a heavy workload. (Tom)
    He has as heavy a workload as Tom.

She was a good actress. (her cousin)
She was as good an actress as her cousin.

They are talented musicians. (their parents)
They are as talented musicians as their parents.

  1. She is a skilled carpenter. (her father)
  2. Terry is an efficient manager. (Kay)
  3. They are wonderful performers. (their predecessors)
  4. He won a prestigious prize. (his competitor)
  5. The white hens are good layers. (the brown ones)
  6. Rupert is an able administrator. (his boss)
  7. She is carrying a heavy parcel. (you)
  8. He is a brilliant engineer. (we had been told)
  9. She found an important clue. (anyone)
  10. They are experienced directors. (one could wish)
  11. Complete each of the following sentences by filling in the blank with the subjective case of the personal pronoun indicated in brackets, followed by the form of the Simple Present of the verb to be which agrees with the pronoun. For example:
    I am as clever as _____. (he, him)
    I am as clever as he is.

They are as curious as ______. (us, we)
They are as curious as we are.

  1. We are as proud as _____________. (they, them)
  2. Henrietta is as silly as _____________. (your, you)
  3. They are as confident as _____________. (her, she)
  4. Amanda is as surprised as _____________. (I, me)
  5. I am not as patient as ___________. (he, him)
  6. Ray is as old as _____________. (them, they)
  7. Dan is as eager to attend the concert as _____________. (we, us)
  8. You are as quick-witted as _____________. (she, her)
  9. She is almost as shy as _____________. (him, he)
  10. Leonora is just as beautiful as _____________. (me, I)
  11. Paying attention to the correct spelling, complete the following sentences by filling in the blanks with the comparative forms of the adjectives shown in brackets. For example:
    This room is ______ than that one. (warm)
    This room is warmer than that one.

This sand is _____ than that sand. (fine)
This sand is finer than that sand.

My towel is _____ than yours. (dry)
My towel is drier than yours.

The grass is ______ than it was yesterday. (wet)
The grass is wetter than it was yesterday.

There are _____ people here than I expected. (few)
There are fewer people here than I expected.

Her room is ______ than mine. (neat)
Her room is neater than mine.

  1. The village is ____________ than the city. (pretty)
  2. This building is ____________ than the one next to it. (big)
  3. Your watch is ____________ than mine. (slow)
  4. Her roses smell ____________ than ours. (sweet)
  5. The corner store is ____________ than the supermarket. (close)
  6. The temperature is ____________ today than it was yesterday. (high)
  7. His cat is ____________ than yours. (fat)
  8. We arrived ____________ than she had expected. (soon)
  9. It is ____________ on this side of the valley. (sunny)
  10. She is _____________ than her sister. (young)
  11. The afternoon is usually ____________ than the morning. (hot)
  12. He is ____________ than you are. (weak)
  13. The table is ____________ at this end. (low)
  14. This book is _____________ than that one. (thin)
  15. The bag is _____________ than the suitcase. (heavy)
  16. Complete the following sentences by filling in the blanks with the comparative forms of the irregular adjectives given in brackets. For example:
    Pam is a ______ student than Roger. (good)
    Pam is a better student than Roger.

His cough is _____ than yours. (bad)
His cough is worse than yours.

  1. I have ___________ eggs than I need. (many)
  2. The bread tastes even ___________ than the rolls. (good)
  3. She does not want to travel ____________ than necessary. (far)
  4. Alice drinks ___________ coffee than Jerry does. (little)
  5. We have ___________ honey than we need. (much)
  6. Things may be ___________ than you think. (bad)
  7. Business is ____________ this year than it was last year. (good)
  8. Alan has ___________ money than Ben. (little)
  9. She has ___________ self-confidence than I do. (much)
  10. The weather was ___________ yesterday than it is today. (bad)
  11. The following table gives the ages and heights of five children:

Child’s NameAge (years)Height (centimeters)
  Nancy  16  150
  Dick  15  160
  Lorne  12  140
  Sara   8  110
  Barbara   7  115

Following the model of the examples, write sentences comparing the age or height of the children in each of the following pairs. For example:
Dick and Lorne (age)
Dick is older than Lorne.

Lorne and Dick. (height)
Lorne is shorter than Dick.

Sara and Dick (age)
Sara is younger than Dick.

Dick and Sara (height)
Dick is taller than Sara.

  1. Nancy and Dick (age)
  2. Dick and Nancy (height)
  3. Nancy and Lorne (age)
  4. Lorne and Nancy (height)
  5. Sara and Lorne (age)
  6. Lorne and Sara (height)
  7. Sara and Barbara (age)
  8. Sara and Barbara (height)
  9. Barbara and Sara (age)
  10. Barbara and Sara (height)
  11. Rewrite the following sentences as comparisons, using the comparative form of the adjective, and the word than. For each sentence, use the word or words given in brackets as the second part of the comparison. For example:
    Tracy is a fast worker. (I am)
    Tracy is a faster worker than I am.

He is a kind person. (his brother is)
He is a kinder person than his brother is.

Bob is a good student. (Tom)
Bob is a better student than Tom.

  1. She is a fine musician. (her cousin is)
  2. He has a strong voice. (he used to have)
  3. This chair has short legs. (that one does)
  4. We are having a hot summer. (you are)
  5. She is a good doctor. (her friend is)
  6. He has a big book. (you do)
  7. They have new boots. (we do)
  8. He took an early train. (I did)
  9. She is a bad typist. (her colleague is)
  10. We order a sweet dessert. (Susan did)
  11. Complete each of the following sentences by filling in the blank with the subjective case of the personal pronoun indicated in brackets, followed by the form of the Simple Present of the verb to be which agrees with the pronoun. For example:
    She is luckier than ____. (I, me)
    She is luckier than I am.

We are faster than ________. (them, they)
We are faster than they are.

  1. She is older than _____________. (we, us)
  2. They are slower than _____________. (him, he)
  3. He is fatter than _____________. (me, I)
  4. You are stronger than _____________. (they, them)
  5. We are younger than _____________. (her, she)
  6. I am taller than ____________. (he, him)
  7. She is shorter than ____________. (I, me)
  8. He is happier than _____________. (them, they)
  9. They are no better than . (us, we)
  10. I am thinner than _____________.(she, her)
  11. Rewrite each of the following sentences, using the construction in which the comparative form of the adjective is repeated. For example:
    The wind is becoming increasingly strong.
    The wind is becoming stronger and stronger.

The bag seemed to grow increasingly heavy.
The bag seemed to grow heavier and heavier.

  1. The sky is growing increasingly dark.
  2. The grass is becoming increasingly green.
  3. Our hands became increasingly dirty.
  4. The situation is growing increasingly bad.
  5. Their opponents are growing increasingly weak.
  6. The mist became increasingly thick.
  7. His singing is becoming increasingly good.
  8. The trees are growing increasingly tall.
  9. The soil is becoming increasingly dry.
  10. The time remaining grew increasingly short.
  11. Paying attention to the correct spelling, complete the following sentences by filling in the blanks with the superlative forms of the adjectives shown in brackets. For example:
    He is the _______ runner on the team. (fast)
    He is the fastest runner on the team.

Have you heard the ______ news? (late)
Have you heard the latest news?

They are the _______ people I know. (lazy)
They are the laziest people I know.

This is the _______ part of the day. (hot)
This is the hottest part of the day.

The black horse was the _______ horse in the race. (slow)
The black horse was the slowest horse in the race.

She is the _______ student in the class. (poor)
She is the poorest student in the class.

  1. This is the _____________ highway in the country. (wide)
  2. That was the _____________ sunset I have ever seen. (red)
  3. Yesterday was the _____________ day of the year. (cold)
  4. This is the _____________ way to do it. (easy)
  5. The kitchen is the _____________ room in the house. (clean)
  6. This is the _____________ model currently available. (new)
  7. This is the _____________ cake I have ever eaten. (sweet)
  8. The third act is the _____________ part of the play. (sad)
  9. The ____________ temperature on record was minus forty degrees. (low)
  10. That is probably the _____________ thing to do. (wise)
  11. This is the ____________ route into town. (short)
  12. She is the _____________ girl I know. (lucky)
  13. Complete the following sentences by filling in the blanks with the superlative forms of the irregular adjectives shown in brackets. For example:
    Pam is the ____ student in the class. (good)
    Pam is the best student in the class.

That is the _____ essay I have ever read. (bad)
That is the worst essay I have ever read.

  1. This is the ____________ we have ever traveled in one day. (far)
  2. Their farm has produced the _____________ tomatoes. (many)
  3. Our strawberries have the _____________ flavor. (good)
  4. He ate the _____________ jam. (little)
  5. That is the _____________ news I have heard yet. (bad)
  6. She has the ______________ cheese. (much)
  7. They have eaten the _____________ pancakes. (many)
  8. That is the ____________ thing that could happen. (bad)
  9. We have used the _____________ honey. (much)
  10. That is the _____________ suggestion we have heard yet. (good)
  11. This is the _____________ stretch of road. (bad)
  12. They produced the _____________ butter this year. (little)
  13. The following table gives the age, height, and weight of each child in a group of eight children, together with the amount of money possessed by each child. The highest and lowest numbers in each column have been underlined.

Child’s NameAge (years)Height (cm)Weight (kg)Money (dollars)
 Denise 12 140 40  90
 Ted 11 154 43  70
 Ray 10 135 45  25
 Bev  9 130 42 100
 Carl  8 125 35  10
 Amber  7 115 28  30
 Victor  6 110 32  20
 Sally  5 112 29  15

Following the model of the examples, complete the rest of the sentences, indicating which is the youngest, shortest, heaviest, lightest, richest, and poorest child in the group. For example:
Denise is
Denise is the oldest child in the group.

Ted is
Ted is the tallest child in the group.

  1. Ray is
  2. Bev is
  3. Sally is
  4. Victor is
  5. Amber is
  6. Carl is
  7. Rewrite each of the following sentences, changing the positive form of the adjective to the superlative form, and using the definite article the. Use the words given in brackets as the second part of the comparison. For example:
    This is a cold room. (in the house)
    This is the coldest room in the house.

That is a good example. (he could find)
That is the best example he could find.

  1. This is an old house. (on the street)
  2. That is a large store. (in the city)
  3. This is a cool evening. (we have had this week)
  4. He is a kind man. (I know)
  5. This is a fine view. (in the area)
  6. That is a new building. (in town)
  7. This is a dusty road. (I have ever walked along)
  8. That was a bad storm. (we have had for ten years)
  9. This is a long river. (in the country)
  10. That is a funny story. (you have ever told)

ANSWERS TO THE EXERCISES for Chapter 22

Answers to Exercise 1:
Examples:
1. He is as strong as an ox. 2. She is as beautiful as a butterfly. 3. He is as slow as a tortoise. 4. She is as frightened as a rabbit. 5. I am as busy as a bee. 6. He is as happy as a lark.

Answers to Exercise 2:
1. Angela is four times as old as May. 2. Tom is twice as old as May. 3. Tom is half as old as Angela. 4. Ruth is six times as old as May. 5. Tom is one-third as old as Ruth. 6. Tom is six times as old as Joe. 7. May is half as old as Tom. 8. Angela is twelve times as old as Joe. 9. Joe is one-third as old as May. 10. May is three times as old as Joe.

Answers to Exercise 3:
1. She is as skilled a carpenter as her father. 2. Terry is as efficient a manager as Kay. 3. They are as wonderful performers as their predecessors. 4. He won as prestigious a prize as his competitor. 5. The white hens are as good layers as the brown ones. 6. Rupert is as able an administrator as his boss. 7. She is carrying as heavy a parcel as you. 8. He is as brilliant an engineer as we had been told. 9. She found as important a clue as anyone. 10. They are as experienced directors as one could wish.

Answers to Exercise 4:
1. they are 2. you are 3. she is 4. I am 5. he is 6. they are 7. we are 8. she is 9. he is 10. I am

Answers to Exercise 5:
1. prettier 2. bigger 3. slower 4. sweeter 5. closer 6. higher 7. fatter 8. sooner 9. sunnier 10. younger 11. hotter 12. weaker 13. lower 14. thinner 15. heavier

Answers to Exercise 6:
1. more 2. better 3. farther 4. less 5. more 6. worse 7. better 8. less 9. more 10. worse

Answers to Exercise 7:
1. Nancy is older than Dick. 2. Dick is taller than Nancy. 3. Nancy is older than Lorne. 4. Lorne is shorter than Nancy. 5. Sara is younger than Lorne. 6. Lorne is taller than Sara. 7. Sara is older than Barbara. 8. Sara is shorter than Barbara. 9. Barbara is younger than Sara. 10. Barbara is taller than Sara.

Answers to Exercise 8:
1. She is a finer musician than her cousin is. 2. He has a stronger voice than he used to have. 3. This chair has shorter legs than that one does. 4. We are having a hotter summer than you are. 5. She is a better doctor than her friend is. 6. He has a bigger book than you do. 7. They have newer boots than we do. 8. He took an earlier train than I did. 9. She is a worse typist than her colleague is.. 10. We ordered a sweeter dessert than Susan did.

Answers to Exercise 9:
1. we are 2. he is 3. I am 4. they are 5. she is 6. he is 7. I am 8. they are 9. we are 10. she is

Answers to Exercise 10:
1. The sky is growing darker and darker. 2. The grass is becoming greener and greener. 3. Our hands became dirtier and dirtier. 4. The situation is growing worse and worse. 5. Their opponents are growing weaker and weaker. 6. The mist became thicker and thicker. 7. His singing is becoming better and better. 8. The trees are growing taller and taller. 9. The soil is becoming drier and drier. 10. The time remaining grew shorter and shorter.

Answers to Exercise 11:
1. widest 2. reddest 3. coldest 4. easiest 5. cleanest 6. newest 7. sweetest 8. saddest 9. lowest 10. wisest 11. shortest 12. luckiest

Answers to Exercise 12:
1. farthest 2. most 3. best 4. least 5. worst 6. most 7. most 8. worst 9. most 10. best 11. worst 12. least

Answers to Exercise 13:
1. Ray is the heaviest child in the group. 2. Bev is the richest child in the group. 3. Sally is the youngest child in the group. 4. Victor is the shortest child in the group. 5. Amber is the lightest child in the group. 6. Carl is the poorest child in the group.

Answers to Exercise 14:
1. This is the oldest house on the street. 2. That is the largest store in the city. 3. This is the coolest evening we have had this week. 4. He is the kindest man I know. 5. This is the finest view in the area. 6. That is the newest building in town. 7. This is the dustiest road I have ever walked along. 8. That was the worst storm we have had for ten years. 9. This is the longest river in the country. 10. That is the funniest story you have ever told.

VocaGram English Grammar Vocabulary Tests Exercises

English Grammar Lessons
If you find any mistakes in the questions or need an explanation of the correct answer, please let us know by leaving a comment below. We will immediately correct the mistake or try to explain the answer as much as possible.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.