Comparative Vs Superlative Adverbs [A Complete Guide]

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Comparative and superlative adverbs play a prominent role in expressing degrees of comparison in English. If adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, then the comparative and superlative forms compare the actions or qualities. They help define the level or intensity of the adverb. Effective use of these degrees helps to enhance communication skills and the ability to convey ideas with clarity. They are even used to create vivid and effective descriptions. These degrees are almost the same as that of adjectives’ degree of comparison. Let us understand the meaning of comparative and superlative degrees and their differences.

Must Read: Adverbs – Definition, Types, Use, Examples & Exercises

Adverbs – Three Degrees of Comparison 

There are three degrees of comparison in English Grammar. These degrees of comparison are responsible for comparing the actions or the qualities in the sentence.

  • Positive Degree: This degree of comparison is used when there is no comparison made between the actions or the qualities. They take the base form only. For example: He walked slowly.
  • Comparative Degree: This degree of comparison is used where there is a comparison made between two actions or qualities. They are formed by adding er to the base form or by adding more to the irregular forms of adverbs.  For Example: A car runs faster than a bicycle.
  • Superlative Degree: This degree of comparison is used when a comparison is made with more than two actions or qualities. They are formed by adding est to the base form or by adding most to the irregular forms of adverbs. For example: My car runs fastest in the lot.
comparative and superlative adverbs

Also Read: Deciphering the Difference: Adjective vs. Adverb in English Grammar

Difference Between Comparative and Superlative Adverbs

Once the rules of both Comparative and Superlative adverbs are crystal clear only then we can implement their usage with precision. Let us check the following differentiation in terms of rules to master the concept.

Comparative Adverbs Superlative Adverbs
Used to make comparisons between two actions or qualities. Used to make comparisons between more than two actions or qualities.
Use of than to make a comparison Use of the to make a comparison
Use of er with the base form Use of est with the base form
Use of more with the irregular adverbs Use of most irregular adverbs.
For example: She runs faster than her sister. For example: She runs the fastest in the class.

Also Read: Conjunctive Adverbs Meaning, Examples & Exercises

List of Comparative and Superlative Adverbs 

Let us understand the list of comparative and superlative adverbs for a better understanding of the difference between them.

Comparative Adverbs Superlative Adverbs
Sooner Soonest
Fast Faster
Later Latest
More Quickly Most Quickly
More Easily Most Easily
More Swiftly Most Swiftly
More Hardly Most Hardly
More Lovely More Lovely
More Beautifully Most Beautifully
More Happily Most Happily

Also Read: Adverbs: Definition, Types, Use, Examples & Exercises

Practice Adverb Exercise

Fill in the blanks with the correct degree of adverb.

  1. The athlete ran __________ (fast) than the others in the race.
  2. She sang the song __________ (beautifully) of all the contestants.
  3. Complete the task __________ (quickly) if you want to win the prize.
  4. The river flowed __________ (calmly) after the storm had passed.
  5. Jake solved the puzzle __________ (easily) than anyone else in the group.
  6. The teacher explained the concept __________ (clearly) to help the students understand.
  7. The car moved __________ (slowly) in heavy traffic.
  8. Jane spoke __________ (softly) than her brother during the presentation.
  9. The team worked __________ (efficiently) to finish the project before the deadline.
  10. The magician performed the trick __________ (skillfully) than I expected.
  11. The storm arrived __________ (suddenly) than meteorologists predicted.
  12. The computer processed the data __________ (quickly) than the older model.
  13. The sunset __________ (beautifully) over the horizon.
  14. She danced __________ (gracefully) at the ballet recital.
  15. Complete the assignment __________ (carefully) to avoid mistakes.

Check Your Answers

Match your answers with the solved exercise.

  1. The athlete ran faster than the others in the race.
  2. She sang the song more beautifully than all the contestants.
  3. Complete the task more quickly if you want to win the prize.
  4. The river flowed more calmly after the storm had passed.
  5. Jake solved the puzzle more easily than anyone else in the group.
  6. The teacher explained the concept more clearly to help the students understand.
  7. The car moved more slowly in heavy traffic.
  8. Jane spoke more softly than her brother during the presentation.
  9. The team worked more efficiently to finish the project before the deadline.
  10. The magician performed the trick more skillfully than I expected.
  11. The storm arrived more suddenly than meteorologists predicted.
  12. The computer processed the data more quickly than the older model.
  13. The sunset appears more beautifully over the horizon.
  14. She danced more gracefully at the ballet recital.
  15. Complete the assignment more carefully to avoid mistakes.

Related Post

Regular and Irregular Verbs Subject Verb Agreement
Adjective Phrases Interrogative Adverbs

FAQs

What are comparative and superlative adverbs?

1. Comparative Degree: This degree of comparison is used where there is a comparison made between two actions or qualities. They are formed by adding er to the base form or by adding more to the irregular forms of adverbs.  For Example: A car runs faster than a bicycle.
2. Superlative Degree: This degree of comparison is used when a comparison is made with more than two actions or qualities. They are formed by adding est to the base form or by adding most to the irregular forms of adverbs. For example: My car runs fastest in the lot.

What is the superlative degree of near?

The superlative degree of near is nearest.

What is the adverb comparative and superlative degree of slowly?

The comparative degree of slow is more slowly and the superlative degree of adverb slowly is the most slowly.

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