IRREGULAR COMPARATIVE AND SUPERLATIVE ADJECTIVES

IRREGULAR COMPARATIVE AND SUPERLATIVE ADJECTIVES

The comparative and superlative forms of some adjectives are not formed in a regular way. for e.g Sarah believed in a good school, she knew that Saints High School was better than her former school. Saints High School is the best school in Abakaliki.

ADJECTIVE/POSITIVE DEGREE   COMPARATIVE   SUPERLATIVE
Good                                                     Better                    Best
Bad                                                       Worse                   Worst
Many                                                     More                      Most
Little                                                      Less                       Least

Please do not use more or most before irregular adjective that are already in the comparative or superlative form.
For example:
 Sarah felt better when she came to Saints High School. (it is not Sarah felt more better)

Recommended: Adjectives -Definition and examples

THE CORRECT USE OF SOME ADJECTIVES

1. Adjectives used with ‘TO’
Some adjectives must always be followed by ‘to’ and not ‘than’. They are SUPERIOR, SENIOR, PRIOR, INFERIOR, JUNIOR and PREFERABLE.

SUPERIOR
Ebonyi State Cable Television broadcasting equipment is superior to and not than other television broadcasting organizations.

INFERIOR
Say this is inferior to and not than the other.

SENIOR
The boy is senior to me and not than me in age.

JUNIOR
Say junior to me and not than.
PREFERABLE
Rice is preferable to beans and not than.
• Most children prefer rice to beans and not than.

2. THE COMPARISON OF THE TWO QUALITIES OF THE SAME PERSON
When we wish to compare the two qualities of the same person, ‘er’ form is not used. Only ‘more’ form must be used.
For example:
• Ifeoma is more pretty than ugly. (when we say Ifeoma is prettier than ugly, it will look as if we are comparing Ifeoma and ugly.

Also SeeQUESTIONS ON CLAUSES, PHRASES, CONJUNCTIONS AND QUESTION TAG

3. WHEN WE COMPARE TWO THINGS, THE COMPARED THING MUST BE EXCLUDED.
For example:
• Chidera is taller than any other boy in the class.
• Calabar is cleaner than any other city in Nigeria.
Note: we use any other to exclude the compared thing or person.

4. THE COMPARISON OF TWO THINGS OR PERSONS THAN ANY OTHER
When two things or persons are compared, the thing compared must be excluded from the thing compared.
For example:
• Chidera is taller than any other boy in the class.
• English is more interesting than any other subject.
Please note that the word ‘other’ is not left out because, if we say English is more interesting than any subject, it means English is more interesting than English. It is meaningless because English is included in all other subjects.

5. LATER AND LATTER
‘later’ indicates time and ‘latter indicates position.
For example:
• Please can I see you later?
• His latter car is black.

6. ELDER AND ELDEST
They are used only for persons and for the members of the same family. ‘elder’ is not used with “than”.
For example:
• Jessica is my elder sister.
Please do not say, I am elder than, the same way it is used in “older than”.
• Okey is the eldest son in our family.

7. OLDER AND OLDEST
They are used both for persons and things.
For example:
• I am older than he.
• He is the oldest boy in the school.

8. FARTHER AND FURTHER
“Farther” means distant and further means in addition to.
For example:
• My house is farther than yours.
• Further to what I told you yesterday.

9. UTTER MOST AND UTMOST
“uttermost” means the most distant or remote while “utmost” means extreme or the highest degree.
For example:
• We visited the uttermost part of the village.
• He exhibited utmost good faith in the transaction.

10. MANY A AND A GREAT MANY
Both have the same meaning but ‘many a’ is used with a singular verb and ‘a great many’ with a plural verb.
For example:
• Many a pupil wrote this year’s common entrance examination to secondary schools.
• A great many pupils wrote this year’s common entrance examination to secondary schools.

11. SOME AND MANY
‘ some is used in affirmative sentences and ‘any’ is used in negative or interrogative sentences.
For example:
• I have some money.
• I don’t have any money.

12. MUCH AND MANY
‘much’ denotes quantity uncountable nouns, but ‘many’ denotes number, “countable nouns”.
For example:
• Much water was poured on the floor of the house.
• Many people attended the wedding ceremony.

13. EACH OTHER AND ONE ANOTHER

‘Each other’ is used for two persons and ‘one another’ is used for more than two.
For example:
• The two children bath each other.
• The three children bath one another.

Suggested: PHRASES – Meaning, types and forms

14. ORAL AND VERBAL
‘verbal’ means related to words but ‘oral’ means expressed by mouth.
For example:
• I found some verbal differences in his letter.
• I appeared for an oral test.

15. NO LESS THAN AND NO FEWER THAN
‘No less than is used for the quantity which involves uncountable nouns and ‘No fewer than’ for a number which involves countable nouns.
For example:
• I ate no less than a half plate of rice.
• No fewer than five students were in the classroom.

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