Comparisons: Comparative versus Superlative Degrees Mini-Lesson #45 UWF Writing Lab
What are the degrees? • The comparative degree is used in the comparison of two things and is made by adding –er to the word or by using more or less with that word. • The superlative degree is used in the comparison of three or more things and is made by adding –est to the word or by using most or least with that word. • NOTE: Both methods of making a word form its comparative or superlative degree should never be used at the same time.
What not to do! • Never combine more with a word that has –er attached to it. For example: “more friendlier” • Never combine most with a word that has –est attached to it. For example: “most friendliest”
Examples of the comparative degree • The tarantula is bigger than the black widow spider. • Funnel-web spiders are more aggressive than red-back spiders. • The wolf-spider’s bite is riskier than the trap-door spider’s.
Examples of superlative degrees • Of all spiders in the world, the Goliath bird-eating spider is the biggest. • Daddy-long-legs spiders are the least dangerous spiders. • Spiders are the creepiest insects in the world.
You figure it out! • The beetle is the most friendliest insect. • The housefly is the busier of all bugs. • Ladybugs practice a form of cannibalism: they often eat other bugs and are considered the biggest rival. • Fleas are the more annoying of all other bugs.
How’d you do? • The beetle is the friendliest insect. • The housefly is the busiest of all bugs. • Ladybugs practice a form of cannibalism: they often eat other bugs and are considered the biggest rival of all other bugs. • Fleas are the most annoying of all other bugs.
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