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Irregular Forms of Comparisons

Grammar Tutorial


Like verbs, adjectives and adverbs have both regular and irregular forms. Most adjectives and adverbs are regular, and comparisons are formed as described in the earlier tutorial. Comparisons for some of the most commonly used adjectives and adverbs are given below:

Irregular Comparisons:


Describing one thing or action Comparing two things or actions Comparing three or more things or actions
bad worse worst
far farther farthest
good better best
little less least
many more most
much more most
well better best


Comparison Problems with Modifiers:

When making comparisons, check how many things or actions are being compared. If two items are being compared, always use the er, more, less forms. If more than two items are being compared, always use the est, most, or least forms. Errors often result from not using these forms correctly.

Incorrect: Of the two sisters, she is the shortest.

Correct: Of the two sisters, she is the shorter.

Incorrect: All the staffers do well, but Amy does better.

Correct: All the staffers do well, but Amy does best.

Be alert to comparisons between one thing and a group of things. It may seem as though you are comparing many things. In fact, it is two things: one thing and one group.

Incorrect: He speaks most slowly than the other men.

Correct: He speaks more slowly than the other men.

Problems with Well or Good; Badly or Bad:

Well and badly are adverbs, and good and bad are adjectives. Be careful to use them correctly.


Adjectives Adverbs
Take a good look at this example. She plays tennis well.
Do you think this is a bad idea? The toast is badly burnt.


Be especially careful when using linking verbs. Remember they connect a subject to its modifier, which is always an adjective.

This book is good.

Those rotten apples smell bad.

There is an important exception to this rule. When the modifier after the linking verb refers to health, you can use "well" as well as "good".

How are you feeling?

I'm feeling well. I feel good.



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