There are three degrees of comparison in adverbs – the Positive, the Comparative, and the Superlative. The adverbs form their comparatives and superlatives using –er and –est , and more and most. Adverbs that end in –ly use the words more and most to form their comparatives and superlatives.
The one-syllable adverbs use ‘-er’ in the comparative form, and ‘-est’ in the superlative form.
Adverbs which end in ‘-ly’ or have three or more syllables each form the comparative with ‘more’ and the superlative with ‘most’.
|angrily||more angrily||most angrily|
|brightly||more brightly||most brightly|
|dimly||more dimly||most dimly|
|freely||more freely||most freely|
|gladly||more gladly||most gladly|
|heavily||more heavily||most heavily|
|loudly||more loudly||most loudly|
|quietly||more quietly||most quietly|
|sweetly||more sweetly||most sweetly|
|terribly||more terribly||most terribly|
The comparative form is used to compare two things.
The superlative form is used to compare three or more things.
It is not correct to use –er and more together, or –est and most together.
Some adverbs form the comparative and the superlative irregularly.
|badly||worse (than)||worst (the)|
- Of the two teddy bears, which do you like better?
- This has to be the farthest I have ever walked in my life.
(For more on comparison of adverbs using more and most, see List 8 - Adverbs)