Degree modifiers with comparatives and superlatives

We cannot use very with comparatives. Instead we use other degree modifiers like much, far, very much, a lot, lots, any, no, rather, a little, a bit and even.

  • She is much older than her husband. (NOT … very older than …)
  • Is he any better?
  • Russian is much/far more difficult than Spanish.
  • You are no better than him.

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Comparison using superlative adjectives and adverbs

We use the superlative to compare somebody/something with the whole group that she/he/it belongs to.

  • Tom is the tallest of the four brothers.
  • Gold is the most precious of all metals. (OR Gold is the most precious metal.)

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Comparison using comparative adjectives and adverbs

To say that people, things etc are unequal in a particular way, we can use comparative adjectives/adverbs.

  • She is older than me.
  • Tom is taller than his brothers.
  • Iron is more useful than any other metal.
  • He is cleverer than her.

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Degrees of comparison

English adjectives and adverbs commonly distinguish three degrees: the positive (the basic form), the comparative (expressing a higher degree than is present in something else) and the superlative (expressing a maximal degree).

Comparative and superlative adjectives: formation

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