One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Comparative and superlative adverbs
|loudly||more loudly||most loudly|
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).
Forming comparative and superlative adverbs
Adverbs ending in -ly
|slowly||more slowly||most slowly|
|happily||more happily||most happily|
Adverbs with the same form as an adjective
These form their comparatives and superlatives by adding the endings -er and -est. If the adverb ends in -y, then you change the y to an i before adding -er or -est; if the adverb has one syllable and ends in -e, then you just add the ending -r or -st:
The most common adverbs of this type are:
Irregular comparatives and superlatives
Some common adverbs have irregular comparatives and superlatives that you just have to learn. Most dictionaries will also give these spellings if you’re not sure:
|far||farther (or further)||farthest (or furthest)|
Back to Adverbs.
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