Messi or Ronaldo? Pizza or sushi? Going to the cinema or bingeing on a series at home? A beach holiday or a walking trip in the mountains? Who is the number one superhero? Which jungle animal do you really need to fear and why?

We all have different answers to these questions and love going into detail about the varying degrees of comparison. Most of all, everyone likes to explain their opinion! But how? With comparative and superlative adjectives, of course!

In this blog, you’ll learn when to use comparative and superlative adjectives, the different adjective forms and what spelling changes you need to make. Plus you’ll find out mistakes you must avoid making, and our favourite part: how you can bring them into conversation! Are you ready? Let’s go!


What is a comparative adjective?


Comparative adjectives are words we use to make comparisons in English. We need to change the form of the adjective, make different spelling changes and almost always use ‘than’. Let’s look at some examples!

Ronaldo is taller than Messi.

Mexican food is spicier than Spanish food.

The Pacific Ocean is bigger than the Atlantic Ocean.

Comparative1_Oxford House Barcelona

Are killer whales more dangerous than sharks?

Comparative2_Oxford House Barcelona

Which is better? McDonald’s or Burger King?

How do we know what spelling changes to make?

Rule1_Oxford House Barcelona

Giraffes are taller than camels.

John is braver than his brother, so he went into the haunted house first.

Rule2_Oxford House Barcelona

Canada is bigger than France.

Summer is hotter than winter.

Rule3_Oxford House Barcelona

Sushi is tastier than pizza.

My sister is busier than I am, because she works as a babysitter in the evenings.

Rule4_Oxford House Barcelona

Crocodiles are more dangerous than bears.

My new phone is more modern than the one I had before.

Rule5_Oxford House Barcelona

Hang on! Irregular adjectives?

Don’t worry! Here is a table with the most typical irregular comparative adjectives:

Irregular comparative adjectives_Oxford House Barcelona

Is Messi better than Ronaldo? Is English food worse than Spanish food?

What do you think?


How can I practise comparative adjectives?


Easy! Do you remember these questions at the beginning of the blog? Answer them using comparative adjectives!

Messi or Ronaldo? Pizza or sushi? Going to the cinema or bingeing on a series at home? A beach holiday or a walking trip in the mountains?

For example,

Messi is more skillful than Ronaldo, but Ronaldo is stronger than Messi.

Pizza is cheaper than sushi. It’s easier to make too!

Going to the cinema is more expensive than bingeing on a series at home.

You can also make a list of all the English adjectives you know. Which rule does each one follow? Once you’ve figured it out, write a question!


What is a superlative adjective?


Superlative adjectives are words we use to compare one thing to two or more things. Think about a group of people or things in a competition. Now imagine one of them is the winner. We use a superlative adjective to say that person or thing has the quality of the adjective to the highest degree.

Let’s look at some examples of superlative adjectives!

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system.

Mount Everest is the highest peak in the world.

We always use ‘the’ in superlative adjectives because we’re talking about one unique thing.

How do we make superlative adjectives?

Luckily, the information you have already learnt about comparative adjectives will come in handy here. We can separate superlative adjectives into five groups as well. Remember how you have to make specific changes and either add ‘er’ or ‘more’ when you want to make comparative adjectives?

Great news! If you want to make a superlative adjective, you only need to follow the same rule, but instead of adding ‘-er’ or ‘more’, you add ‘-est’ or ‘most’.

Superlative adjectives_Oxford House Barcelona

Remember those irregular adjectives from rule 5? Here are the common superlative forms as well:

Common superlative adjectives_Oxford House Barcelona

How can I practise superlative adjectives?

Well, the best place to start is by forming some questions. Here are some we’ve created for you:


What’s the most expensive restaurant in your city? What’s the spiciest food you’ve ever tried? What’s the most delicious pizza topping? What’s the sweetest ice cream flavour?


Who’s the fastest runner? Who’s the strongest rugby player? Which footballer has scored the quickest hat-trick? What’s the most exciting match you’ve ever seen?


What’s the longest journey you’ve been on? Where’s the furthest you’ve been from home? What’s the most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen? What’s the tallest building you’ve ever been to the top of?

What next? Well, the best thing about learning English is practising it! Ask your friends your questions. Do they agree? No? Well, it’s your job to talk them round!


Be careful!


Apart from studying the spelling rules, here are four more things you should remember:

  • Always remember that if you are comparing two things, use a comparative adjective. If you are talking about the winner or loser in a group, use a superlative adjective.
  • Use ‘than’ in a comparative sentence.
  • Don’t forget ‘the’ in a superlative sentence.
  • Don’t add ‘more’ or ‘most’ where it’s not necessary. For example, the most tallest, Laura is more stronger than Stephen.


So, what have we learnt?


  • Comparative and superlative adjectives are fantastic when you want to explain your opinion. You could even say that they are the most useful tool in your conversation toolbox!
  • Different adjectives require different spelling changes. Study the spelling rules and write your own sentences. The easiest way to remember new vocabulary and grammar is with your own personal examples!


More grammar and vocabulary lessons


Well done – now you’re a pro at comparative and superlative adjectives! We’ve got plenty of other grammar and vocabulary lessons for you. Try these:

How to use 6 different English pronouns

Stop making these 7 grammar mistakes

8 Vocabulary Mistakes Spanish Speakers Make

The most enjoyable way to practise this grammar is with other people. Find the class to fit your needs!

Glossary for Language Learners


Find the following words in the article and then write down any new ones you didn’t know.

binge on (pv): do something excessively.

varying (adj): changing or different in amount or level, changing from person to another.

babysitter (n): someone who is paid to take care of children when parents go out, usually in the evening.

skillful (adj): good at doing something, especially because you have practised doing it.

figure something out (pv): be able to understand something.

come in handy (id): be useful to you.

topping (n): a substance or sauce that is put on something to give it an extra flavour.

hat-trick (n): three goals scored by one footballer in one match.

talk someone round (pv): convince someone to agree with you.

tool (n): something that helps you complete a task.

toolbox (n): a container in which you keep your tools.


pv = phrasal verb

id = idiom

adj = adjective

n = noun

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