Superlatives exercise

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Comparative and Superlative Adjectives Test

The comparative and superlative adjectives test checks your understanding of when to use each. Do you know the difference between these two adjectives? Find out with this exercise.

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Blog de Cristina

A NEW LANGUAGE MEANS ANOTHER VISION OF LIFE

Some Activities to Talk Nonstop Using Comparatives and Superlatives

It is still raining .

It is raining again today. Of course it is raining. This is Asturias and we don’t get to be the dear, green place – Asturias “natural paradise”- without more than our fair share of rain, but I’m beginning to get a bit sick with so much rain. I need the sun, or rather my mood needs the warm, delicious rays of the spring sun.

In class today, we need to deal with comparatives and superlatives.
This is the intermediate level so I don’t think, or perphaps it’s hopeful thinking, my students will need me to go over the rules for the formation of the comparative and superlative of adjectives and adverbs. Anyway, this is the easiest part; there are loads of sites on the internet with exercises to practise grammar.

I want this class to be highly communicative. I want my students to leave the class telling each other. OMG ! I’ve lost my voice! I want them to leave my class sounding funny, hoarse even.

With these activities we’ll compare

  • adjectives (taller than) , Grammar here
  • nouns ( more people than,fewer rooms than, less pollution than) Grammar here
  • adverbs ( more quickly than) Grammar here
  • superlative of the adjectives. Grammar here

So, without further ado, let’s get down to some serious speaking

♥Activity One: The place where you live

I started this post talking about the weather in Asturias. I am pretty sure my students would share my feeling about so much rain. So, after sort of complaining about so many rainy days, I am going to ask them to compare living in Asturias (north of Spain) with living in Andalucia (south of Spain). I’ll lead this activity with students contributing with their ideas and this will help me correct what I hope will be little mistakes.

Activity 2 Look Around You Competition


Students in groups of three or four compare students in the classroom. Set a time limit of about 5 minutes for students to talk and on your signal each group of students should write as many comparative and superlative sentences as they can about the people in their classroom. At the end of the time period, have one group share their sentences. If another group has the same sentence as the first group, both groups should cross that statement off their list. Continue until all groups have read all of their statements and any duplicates are eliminated. The group with the most statements remaining wins. I owe this activity to Susan Verner.

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Activity 3. Using Pictures to Compare

Get students in pairs or threes and ask them to discus the following questions . Click here to get the pdf

Comparatives and Superlatives – additional exercises

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Past simple tense – the form

It is quite easy to form comparatives and superlatives in English. However, without much practice students will make a lot of mistakes.

To provide enough practice for my students I have created the following exercises. There are three gap-fill exercises where students will practise the grammar in context.
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Comparing in English – infographic

Show it to your students and explain that students first have to decide if the adjective is long or short. If the adjective is just 1 syllable, it is short. If it ends with -y, it is short. Otherwise, it is long.

Once they know whether the adjective is long or short, they can form the superlatives and comparatives correctly. With short adjectives, they add the suffixes -er or -est. With long adjectives, they add more or most in front of the adjective.

You can find the pdf version of the infographic here:
Comparatives and superlatives infographic – pdf

Comparatives and superlatives – online quizzes

There are three quizzes:

You can print two of the quizzes and use them in the classroom:
Comparatives and superlatives

English Current

ESL Lesson Plans, Tests, & Ideas

Grammar: Comparatives & Superlatives (Exercises)

English Level: High-Beginner, Intermediate

Language Focus: Changing adjectives to comparative and superlative form

Worksheet Download: comparative-superlative-worksheet-esl.docx (scroll down to study the exercises online)

Jump to: Comparatives, Superlatives, Exercises

Review: Making Sentences in Comparative Form

We put an adjective (‘big’) into a comparative form (‘bigger’) when we are comparing two things. For example, here are two boys.

Let’s say the boy on the left is Ian and the boy on right is Peter. We can say,

  • Ian is taller than Peter.
  • Peter is more excited than Ian.

To make comparative sentences like this, we make a regular sentence and change the adjective to a comparative form.

Ian is tall. > Ian is taller .

We add ‘than‘ after the adjective when we want to say what we are comparing the subject (‘Ian’) to.

Ian is taller than Peter.

Sometimes we don’t add ‘than’ because we don’t need to when it is already clear who/what we are comparing.

Peter is younger…. than who? Ian of course!

Comparatives: Comparing Apples to Apples

Always compare two similar things. For example, [ Food-A ] is [ comparative adjective ] than [ Food-B ].

[ Bananas ] are [ healthier ] than [ cookies ]. ( Correct )

This sentence is wrong:

[ Peter’s hair ] is lighter than [ Ian ]. ( Wrong )

How can we compare hair to a person? These are different things that can’t really be compared. We need to compare [hair] to [hair]. To fix this, we can write:

  • [ Peter’s hair ] is lighter than [ Ian’s hair ]. ( Correct )
  • [ Peter’s hair ] is lighter than [ Ian’s ]. ( Correct – If you write “Ian’s” (a possessive), it means the hair of Ian)
  • [ Peter’s hair ] is lighter. ( Correct )

Now let’s look at how we change adjectives into comparative adjectives now.

Rule #1: Add ‘er’ to End of One-Syllable Adjectives

er to short words that are only one syllable. (A syllable is how many sounds a word has. Usually this is how many times you open your mouth when you say a word; for example, when you say ‘big’, you only open your mouth once so it is one syllable. However, when you say the word ‘beautiful’, you open your mouth three times. This means it is three syllables.)

E.g.: John is taller than Peter. ( tall + er = taller)

Here are some common one-syllable adjectives:

Note: If the last two letters of the adjective are a vowel (a/e/i/o/u) followed by a consonant (d/g/m/p/t, etc), repeat the last consonant to make the comparative form.

Rule #2: Add ‘ier’ to Two-Syllable Adjectives that end in ‘Y’

If the adjective has two syllables (‘ugly = ug-ly’) then drop the ‘y’ at the end, add an ‘i’, and then ‘er’.

E.g. That house is uglier than my house.

Rule #3: Add ‘more’ to Adjectives Longer than Three Syllables

When we have longer adjectives (two syllables that don’t end in ‘y’, or any adjective with three syllables or more), we usually add ‘more‘ before the word and we do not change the adjective.

For example, the adjective beautiful has three syllables (beau-ti-ful). So we’d say,

E.g. This painting is more beautiful than that painting.

Here are some other common longer adjectives in comparative form.

  • beautiful > more beautiful
  • expensive > more expensive
  • delicious > more delicious
  • interested > more interested
  • difficult > more difficult

Making Comparatives: Exceptions

These adjectives have irregular comparative forms.

E.g. Your day was worse than mine.

That’s it. Let’s try some practice exercises.

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Practice Exercises: Comparative Adjectives

  1. My brother is (young) than me.
  2. Today the streets are (crowded) than yesterday.
  3. I think math is (difficult) than English.
  4. Mr. Green is a (wealthy) man than I am.
  5. This map is (complicated).
  6. Jose needs a (good) job.
  1. Sharks are (scary) than bears.
  2. She was (nice) to me today. Yesterday, she was (rude).
  3. Your hair is (wet) than mine because you were in the rain (long).
  4. You d /> (well) on the test this week. Good work.
  5. This photograph is (colorful) but it’s (expensive).
  6. I took a (big) piece of cake because I’m (hungry) than you.

Review: Making Sentences in Superlative Form

We use a superlative form to mean that something is #1. It is the best; it is the top.

  • John was the fastest in the race.
  • Russia is the biggest country.
  • The diamond ring was the most expensive ring in the shop.

A sentence with a superlative (like ‘Russia is the biggest country‘) is a statement that means the subject is the #1 of all things in that category. It is not a comparison between two things.

As you can see, we usually add ‘the‘ before the adjective in superlative form: ‘the fastest / the biggest / the most expensive’.

Also, we do not use ‘than’ with superlatives.

To change an adjective to its superlative adjective form, the rules are similar to comparatives.

Rule #1: Add ‘est’ to End to One-Syllable Adjectives

est to short words that are only one syllable.

E.g.: Kate is the fastest. ( fast + est = fastest)

Here are some common one-syllable adjectives:

Note: If the last two letters of the adjective are a vowel (a/e/i/o/u) followed by a consonant (d/g/m/p/t, etc), repeat the last consonant to make the comparative form.

  • mad > mad d est
  • big > big g est
  • slim > slim m est
  • hip > hip p est
  • fat > fat t est
  • wet > wet t est

Rule #2: Add ‘iest’ to Two-Syllable Adjectives that end in ‘Y’

If the adjective has two syllables (‘ugly = ug-ly’) then drop the ‘y’ at the end, add an ‘i’, and then ‘est’.

E.g. That house is the ugliest on the street.

Rule #3: Add ‘the’ + ‘most’ to Adjectives Longer than Three Syllables

When we have longer adjectives (two syllables that don’t end in ‘y’ or adjectives with three syllables or more), we usually add ‘most‘ before the word and we do not change the adjective.

For example, the adjective beautiful has three syllables (beau-ti-ful). So we’d say,

E.g. This painting is the most beautiful in the gallery.

Here are some other common longer adjectives in superlative form.

  • beautiful > the most beautiful
  • expensive > the most expensive
  • delicious > the most delicious
  • interested > the most interested
  • difficult > the most difficult

Making Superlatives: Irregular Adjectives

These adjectives have irregular comparative and superlative forms.

  • good > better > best
  • bad > worse > worst
  • well > better > best
  • far > farther > farthest

E.g. Today was the best day of my life.

Let’s try some exercises.

Practice Exercises: Superlative Adjectives

Add a superlative form. Don’t forget to add ‘the’.

  1. She is (famous) singer in Korea.
  2. (fast) runner won a prize.
  3. The team played (good) game of their season.
  4. She always calls me at (busy) time of the day.
  5. This part is (deep) in the ocean.
  6. The last question was (difficult) on the test.
  1. That was (bad) hol /> (juicy) of them all.
  2. The living room has (bright) lights in the house.
  3. Dr. Walton is (respected) surgeon in this hospital.
  4. We wrapped (delicate) items in a blanket.
  5. Jane exercises every day. She is (fit) person I know.

Practice Exercises: Comparative or Superlative?

Change the adjective to a comparative or a superlative form. Remember that we use a comparative when comparing two things (the subject of the sentence with another thing). Sentences with comparatives often contain [than] and then another noun.

Give it a try. Remember to add ‘the’ for superlatives.

  1. John’s hair is (light) than Alan’s.
  2. Sometimes staying home is (enjoyable) than going out.
  3. That was (funny) joke I have ever heard.
  4. Canada is (big) than China but (small) than Russia, which is (large) country in the world.
  5. Ron ordered (cheap) bottle of wine for his date.
  6. Usually, February is (cold) month of the year in North America.
  1. The pres /> (luxurious) hotel in the city.
  2. Quitting my job was (difficult) decision I have made in my life.
  3. Sarah’s life was (exciting) when she was in university.
  4. Today is cold. Yesterday was (warm).
  5. John isn’t happy. He wants to be (happy) and (satisfied) in life.
  6. The grizzly bear is (dangerous) animal in Canada.
  • Peter thinks that Sydney is (good) city to live in. In his opinion, Sydney is (good) than Melbourne because it is (close) to beaches. Also, he thinks the views from Sydney are (beautiful).
  • Jane, his friend, doesn’t agree. She thinks life in Sydney is (bad) than life in Melbourne. Firstly, Sydney is (expensive) than Melbourne. Also, she thinks the Melbourne is (relaxed) and the buildings are (beautiful).
  • There are many students in Mr. Barton’s English /> (lazy). He never does his homework so he has (bad) grades. He always looks sleepy. He should go to bed (early).
  • Another student, Pedro, is much (serious) than Alan. In fact, Pedro has (high) grades in the /> (big) class Mr. Barton has ever taught.
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Practice Exercises: Comparatives or Superlatives in Questions

  1. What country is (good) to live in? Why?
  2. What is (scary) movie you have seen?
  3. Is it (good) to be smart and ugly or unintelligent and good-looking?
  4. What is (bad) present you have ever gotten?
  5. What is (dangerous) job in the world?
  6. Which is (bad): falling in love with someone and then having your heart broken, or never having met that person?
  1. Who is (interesting) person you know?
  2. Which is (bad) for your health: alcohol or marijuana?
  3. What is (embarrassing) thing you have done recently?
  4. Is it better to date someone who is (old) or (young) you?
  5. What has been (important) invention in history?
  6. What is (disgusting) thing you have ever eaten?

I hope these exercises and my explanations have helped you understand comparative and superlative adjective forms. If you find a mistake or have a question, please leave a comment below.

– Matthew Barton / Creator of Englishcurrent.com (copyright)

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9 comments on “ Grammar: Comparatives & Superlatives (Exercises) ”

Easy questions, they helped me to study for my test.

I have a mistake for the superlative form:
well > better > worst
There should be best instead of worst

You have a mistake in exercise:
Canada is [bigger] (big) than China but [smaller] (small) than Russia, which is the [the largest] (large) country in the world.
I suppose there should not be two ‘the’s – the [the largest]

Thanks! I’ve fixed both mistakes.

Rule1 A syllable is how many sounds a word is,can we just use ‘has’ here instead of ‘is’?

Hello. Yes, I like ‘has’ better than ‘is’ actually. I’ve changed the text on the page. Thanks

Hi under superlatives, you say, “Here are some other common adjectives in *comparative* form…

Beautiful > The most beautiful
Expensive > the most expensive…

Shouldn’t it be “superlative form”

Also, may I be granted permission to use part of your lesson above in a homework assignment giving you full credit at this website?

Thanks, Mark J Ward

Hello. Fixed! Thanks for that. Yes, you can use the material in a homework assignment.
Cheers.

Comparative and Superlatives Exercise

This grammar exercise tests your ability to use comparative and superlative forms of adjectives.

English adjectives recognize three degrees:

All three of these forms can be used to compare people and things.

Fill in the blanks with an appropriate form of the adjective or adverb.

1. The coat was . than I thought.

We use the comparative form of the adjective before than.

2. Canada is . India.

Adjectives of one or two syllables form their comparative forms by adding -er to the positive adjective.

3. He is not . his brother.

When we make comparisons using the positive adjective, we use the structure as. as.

4. Greenland is . island in the world.

The superlative adjective is used when we compare one thing with the group to which it belongs.

5. You are . person I have met.

6. This is . film I have ever watched.

Here we are comparing one film with all the films, and therefore a superlative adjective is used.

7. I am not very hungry so I will give you the . steak.

When a group has only two members, we can use either the comparative or the superlative; however, the comparative is considered more appropriate here.

8. This is . carpet I have seen.

9. She solved the puzzle . than everybody else.

Please select 2 correct answers

Either quicker or more quickly is possible here.

10. I would be . if I had more chin.

Some compound adjectives like good-looking have two possible comparatives.

11. Thank you very much. That was . of you.

Most can be used with adjectives to mean ‘very’. So the sentence ‘That was most kind of you’ means ‘That was very kind of you’.

12. You are . your mother than your father.

‘Like’ always has more and most.

Answers

1. The coat was more expensive than I thought.
2. Canada is bigger than India.
3. He is not as successful as his brother.
4. Greenland is the largest island in the world.
5. You are the most interesting person I have met.
6. This is the best film I have ever watched.
7. I am not very hungry so I will give you the bigger / biggest steak.
8. This is the dirtiest carpet I have seen.
9. She solved the puzzle quicker / more quickly than everybody else.
10. I would be better-looking / more good-looking if I had more chin.
11. Thank you very much. That was most kind of you.
12. You are more like your mother than your father.

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