Degrees of Adjective

An adjective is a word that modifies (gives more information about) a noun or a pronoun.

Examples: hot tea, old man, beautiful girl, white shirt, intelligent student, interesting story, handsome boy, huge room.

In the above examples, hot, old, beautiful, white, intelligent are adjectives because they modify (give more information about) the attached nouns.

Every adjective has its three degrees.  

  • Positive Adjective
  • Comparative Adjective
  • Superlative Adjective

The degrees of an adjective express the intensity of an adjective in increasing order, e.g., big – bigger – biggest, good – better – best.


Positive Comparative Superlative
Large Larger Largest
Short Shorter Shortest
Small Smaller Smallest
Happy Happier Happiest
Heavy Heavier Heaviest
Stronger Stronger Strongest
Old Older Oldest
Good Better Best
Bad Worse Worst
Many More Most
Little Less Least
Attractive More attractive Most attractive
Beautiful More beautiful Most beautiful


  Use of Comparative Adjectives

A comparative adjective is used to show a characteristic one thing (noun or pronoun) in comparison to another thing (only one thing). 

It makes a comparison between two things (not more than two).

The words such as ‘than’ and ‘to’ are used after a comparative adjective in a sentence.


  • A bus is bigger than a car.
  • A bed is heavier than a chair.
  • John is taller than Sara.
  • You are three years older than me.
  • A car runs faster than a bike.
  • My performance was better than yours.
  • You are cleaver than him.
  • A laptop is more expensive than a camera.
  • David is more intelligent than John.
  • Your voice is louder than mine.
  • My job is tougher than yours.

For some adjectives, the word ‘to’ is used rather than the word ‘that’, e.g., senior, junior, superior, inferior. The words ‘senior’ and ‘junior’ are generally used for comparison between official ranks of two persons. The word ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ are generally used for comparison between qualities of two things.

  • A professor is senior to a lecturer.
  • He is junior to me.
  • She is senior to me.
  • Your dress is superior to mine.
  • This product is inferior to the one I used last year.
  • Modern technology is superior to that of the past.

  Use of Superlative Adjective

A superlative adjective is used to show a characteristic of one thing in comparison to many other things (more than one). It compares one thing to many other things.

A superlative degree expresses the highest intensity (i.e., quality or quantity) of a thing in comparison to other things.

In other words, a superlative adjective expresses that one thing is surpassing all the other things in terms of certain characteristics.


  • John is the tallest boy in his class.

It means that John is surpassing all the boys of his class in tallness. No other boy, in his class, is taller than John. It makes a comparison of the height of John and all other students of his class. See the following more examples.

The words such as ‘in’ and ‘of’ are used after a superlative degree in the sentence.

Since a superlative degree specifies one thing, person or place in comparison to all others, the article ‘the’ should always be used before a superlative degree in a sentence.  


  • He is the most brilliant student in his class.
  • David is the best player in the team.
  • He is the richest person in the town
  • My room is the biggest in my house.
  • This is the most beautiful shirt in the store.
  • Sara is the most talkative girl in his family.
  • This is the most expensive computer in the market.
  • Paris is the most beautiful city in France.
  • Einstein was the most intelligent scientist in the world.
  • The river Nile is the deepest river in the world.
  • John is the youngest in his family.

A superlative degree compares one thing with other things. The other things (with which a comparison is made) may sometimes not be mentioned in the sentence. However, in such a case, the context of the sentence makes it clear that one thing is compared with other things of more or less the same nature.


  • A train is the fastest vehicle.
  • The easiest way to lose weight is to avoid sugary foods.
  • This is the best book I have ever studied.