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Adjectives and Adverbs

for Comparing Three or More Things or Actions



There are two ways to form modifiers that compare three or more things or actions:

(1) to short adjectives and adverbs, add 'the' article before the adjective or adverb plus 'est' to the end of them.

the coldest, the happiest

(2) to longer adjectives and adverbs, or adverbs ending in 'ly' add 'the most' before the regular form of the adjective or adverb. For adjectives ending in a consonant plus y, change the y to i before adding est.

the most expensively, the least independently


Of the three children, Joe is the slowest.

This book is the most interesting one I've read all year.


Our team plays the fastest of all.

Sheila works the most carefully of the four employees.

You can compare three or more things or actions using 'the least' and 'the most'.

What is the least amount of salt I can consume to lower my blood pressure?

My aging mother lives the least independently of my three elder relatives.

I live the least expensively of my peers in the same income bracket.

New York Hotel is the most reliable of all hotels in Manhattan.

The Italian contestant is the most beautiful of the pageants this year.

Forming Comparisons


Type of Modifiers   Comparing three or more things or actions
Short modifiers add er: taller, harder add est: tallest, hardest
Adjectives ending in a consonant plus y change y to i and add er: happier change y to i and add iest: happiest
Long modifiers and all adverbs ending in ly Use more or less: more quickly; less intelligent Use the most or the least: the most quickly; the least intelligent











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