Stone pile beach

Comparative and superlative adverbs

Many adverbs can have three different forms, the positive, the comparative, and the superlative:

Positive
Comparative
Superlative
loudly
more loudly
most loudly
fast
faster
fastest
well
better
best

The comparative form is used for comparing two actions or states:

She ate her lunch more quickly than Joe (did).

Can’t we go any faster?

The company performed better this year (than last year).

I made my cough sound worse than it actually was.

The superlative is used for comparing one action or state with all the others in the same category:

The first stage of a divorce passes the most quickly.

We need people who are determined, not just those who can run the fastest.

He’s playing the kind of role that suits him best.

Worst of all, we didn’t have the rights to our own films.

Note that it’s not possible to have comparatives or superlatives of certain adverbs, especially those of time (e.g. yesterday, daily, then), place (e.g. here, up, down), and degree (e.g. very, really, almost).

You need to either change the spelling of some adverbs or add another word when you form their comparatives and superlatives. There are also some adverbs (e.g. well, far) with irregular comparative and superlative forms. For more information about this, see Forming comparative and superlative adverbs.

 

Back to Adverbs.

Read more about:

Positions of adverbs

Sentence adverbs

Adverbials and adjuncts

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