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Use Comparative and Superlative Adjectives Correctly

In this worksheet, students explore how to use adjectives correctly in their writing, with a focus on comparatives and superlatives.

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  Writing

Curriculum subtopic:  Use Accurate Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

Difficulty level:  

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QUESTION 1 of 10

Adjectives form a large class of words. Their function is to describe the noun by adding further detail.

 

The description may be physical. For example: the red car; the loud music; the blue towel.

 

In addition to this, the adjective may describe something more abstract. For example: a controversial topic; a confusing puzzle; a melancholy mood.

 

Using ambitious and carefully chosen adjectives in your writing to describe nouns will make your writing interesting and varied.

 

Adjectives can also be used to compare things. For example, adding -er to the word small results in the comparative adjective smaller.

The puppy was smaller than its brother.

 

If three or more things are being compared then -est can be added to the word small, resulting in the superlative adjective smallest.

The puppy was the smallest of the litter.


Superlative adjectives can be used for exaggeration.

That was the hottest curry in the world!

 

Note that the 't' at the end of the adjective 'hot' needs to be doubled before the -est ending is added. This is necessary for words with a short vowel sound just before the final consonant. Words ending in -y usually drop the -y and add -ier and -iest.

Adjective

Comparative

Superlative

crunchy

crunchier

crunchiest

fat

fatter

fattest

small

smaller

smallest

There are some adjectives that are grammatically irregular and break this pattern. For example:

Adjective

Comparative

Superlative

bad

worse

worst

far

further

furthest

good

better

best

 

Other adjectives can only be intensified or compared by adding the word 'more' or 'most' to the adjective.

Adjective

Comparative

Superlative

disgusting

more disgusting

most disgusting

careful

more careful

most careful

helpless

more helpless

most helpless

 

What is the function of an adjective in a sentence?

It describes an action.

It describes a noun.

It links parts of a sentence.

Identify the adjective in the following sentence.

 

The elderly man hobbled down the street, leaning on his stick and breathing heavily.

elderly

hobbled

stick

breathing

Identify the adjective in the following sentence.

 

The grumpy teacher threw his chalk at the students.

Identify the adjective in the following sentence.

 

Mary walked briskly through the deserted street.

Match the grammatical terms with their definitions. Hover your mouse over the definitions to see them in full.

Column A

Column B

superlative
a form of adjective used when comparing two nouns
comparative
a form of adjective used to exaggerate or express ...

How would you adapt the adjective 'slimy' to make it a comparative adjective?

slimier

most slimy

slimiest

slime-like

How would you adapt the adjective 'old' to turn it into a superlative adjective?

 

Write your answer in the box below.

Identify the comparative and superlative forms of the adjective 'generous'.

Column A

Column B

comparative
most generous
superlative
more generous

Identify the comparative and superlative forms of the adjective 'helpful'. Choose two answers.

helpfuller

more helpful

most helpful

helpfullest

Match the sentence with the type of adjective it contains. Hover your mouse over the sentences to see them in full.

Column A

Column B

comparative adjective
My dog is the best in the world.
superlative adjective
My mum's cooking is worse than your mum's cooking.
  • Question 1

What is the function of an adjective in a sentence?

CORRECT ANSWER
It describes a noun.
EDDIE SAYS
Adjectives describe nouns. They can be placed in front of the noun e.g. 'the red car' or later in the sentence e.g. 'the car was red'.
  • Question 2

Identify the adjective in the following sentence.

 

The elderly man hobbled down the street, leaning on his stick and breathing heavily.

CORRECT ANSWER
elderly
EDDIE SAYS
The adjective 'elderly' describes the noun 'man'.
  • Question 3

Identify the adjective in the following sentence.

 

The grumpy teacher threw his chalk at the students.

CORRECT ANSWER
grumpy
EDDIE SAYS
The adjective is 'grumpy' as this describes the 'teacher' (the noun).
  • Question 4

Identify the adjective in the following sentence.

 

Mary walked briskly through the deserted street.

CORRECT ANSWER
deserted
EDDIE SAYS
The adjective is 'deserted' as this describes the state of the 'street' (the noun).
  • Question 5

Match the grammatical terms with their definitions. Hover your mouse over the definitions to see them in full.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

superlative
a form of adjective used to exagg...
comparative
a form of adjective used when com...
EDDIE SAYS
A superlative is usually formed by adding 'est' to the original adjective. A comparative is usually formed by adding 'er' to the original adjective. Be aware that there are some exceptions though!
  • Question 6

How would you adapt the adjective 'slimy' to make it a comparative adjective?

CORRECT ANSWER
slimier
EDDIE SAYS
The comparative is 'slimier' which could be used in a sentence such as 'My seaweed feels slimier than yours'. The -y ending needs to be changed to -ier.
  • Question 7

How would you adapt the adjective 'old' to turn it into a superlative adjective?

 

Write your answer in the box below.

CORRECT ANSWER
oldest
EDDIE SAYS
To exaggerate or show something to the highest degree, you can usually add 'est' to the original adjective.
  • Question 8

Identify the comparative and superlative forms of the adjective 'generous'.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

comparative
more generous
superlative
most generous
EDDIE SAYS
It is usual for adjectives with three syllables or more to use 'more' and 'most' rather than taking the -er and -est endings.
  • Question 9

Identify the comparative and superlative forms of the adjective 'helpful'. Choose two answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
more helpful
most helpful
EDDIE SAYS
Adjectives ending in -ful also take 'more' and 'most' rather than adding -er and -est.
  • Question 10

Match the sentence with the type of adjective it contains. Hover your mouse over the sentences to see them in full.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

comparative adjective
My mum's cooking is worse than yo...
superlative adjective
My dog is the best in the world.
EDDIE SAYS
The comparative adjective 'worse' is adapted from the adjective 'bad'. The superlative adjective 'best' is adapted from the adjective 'good'.
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