Thursday, June 5, 2014

How to Use Comparison Correctly



This tip will hopefully help you avoid errors when you are using adjectives and adverbs to compare things.

We frequently use adjectives and adverbs to compare two or more things in our writing.  When two things are being compared, use the comparative degree. When more than two things are being compared, use the superlative degree.

Some words use er and est to form the comparative and superlative degree.
Some words add the words more and most.
Negative comparisons use the words less and least.

Positive Degree         Comparative Degree             Superlative Degree
cheap                          cheaper                                cheapest
recent                         more recent                          most recent
expensive                   less expensive                      least expensive

The important thing is never to use both of these devices at the same time. In other words, do not use: er and more together; or est and most together.

Correct:  The older of my two sons is the one you met yesterday.
Incorrect:  The more older of my two sons is the one you met yesterday.

Correct:  The healthier you are, the better you look.
Incorrect:  The more healthier you are, the better you look.

If you are not sure of the correct spelling when writing a comparison structure, use a dictionary or look up the word online.

In my post next week, I will discuss adjectives that are absolute and cannot be compared. 


I hope your summer is sunny and bright!

All the best,