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Compare and Contrast Workout »  Language » Adjectives

When comparing and contrasting, we often use comparative and superlative adjectives.


Comparative Adjectives describe a comparison of two things. These adjectives end in er.

Examples:
With an average adult length of 40 feet, the deep sea oarfish is longer than the adult Atlantic bluefin tuna, which averages 14 feet in length.

Averaging 14 feet in length, the Atlantic bluefin tuna is one of the Atlantic Ocean's massive fish. However, at 40 feet, the deep sea oarfish is longer.


Superlative Adjectives measure one thing against another thing or another group of things. These adjectives end in est.

Example:
The deep sea oarfish is a prodigious size. However, with an average length of 50 feet and weight of 20 tons, the whale shark is the largest fish of all.


Be Careful

These -er and -est endings are only for adjectives that have one or two syllables.

For words with more than two syllables, we usually use more or less + adjective and most or least + adjective.

Examples:
Although the whale shark is the largest of the species, smaller sharks like the great white and tiger sharks are more aggressive to humans. In fact, as a plankton feeder, the whale shark is probably the least dangerous of the species.


Equivalence

By using the word as, adjectives can also show that two or more things are equal.

Example:
At 14 feet in length, Sturgeons, the largest freshwater fish, are as long as Atlantic bluefin tuna.


The WriteSite's A-Z list of grammar topics has more information on how to create and use comparative and superlative adjectives.

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