More and Most: How and When to Use Them

Contributor: Allison Crews. Lesson ID: 13784

Adjectives are words that describe, like exciting or smart. What if you need something to be more exciting or the smartest? What do you do then? You complete this lesson, that's what!

categories

Grammar

subject
English / Language Arts
learning style
Visual
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

This is a red apple:

apple

  • But what if you wanted to compare the color of these apples?

apples

  • How would you express that?

Read on to find out!

Adjectives are words that are used to describe. They modify -- or enhance, explain, or describe in some way -- nouns and pronouns.

In the example above, red is the adjective describing the apple in the image.

Often, when adjectives are used, they are simply describing a single thing. But sometimes you want to describe something in comparison to other things, like with these apples:

apples

The image shows many red apples. If you wanted to compare two of the apples, you could ask:

  • Is the apple on the far left redder than the one on the far right?

If you wanted to compare them all, you might ask:

  • Which of these apples is the reddest?

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

When comparing more than one thing, comparative and superlative adjectives are used.

comparative and superlative

Comparative adjectives compare two things. Superlative adjectives compare three or more things.

When the noun you want to describe has only one syllable, the comparative is formed by adding -er to the end of the adjective, like with redder.

The superlative is formed by adding -est, like with reddest.

short shorter shortest

When the noun you want to describe has three or more syllables, you use the word more to form the comparative, and most to form the superlative.

Look at this example:

Getting to the meeting on time is more important than stopping for donuts.

I need you to make your bed, match the socks, and wash the dishes, but washing the dishes is your most important task this afternoon.

  • But what if there are two syllables in the adjective?

These can go either way, but usually one is more common than the other. If you aren't sure, use more or most.

Here are some examples:

Polly is the happiest dog on the block.

Her hair is more tangled when it is humid outside.

Leif is the most careful driver on staff.

Hannah felt clumsier than an elephant on roller skates.

Practice

Fill in the comparative and superlative forms of the following adjectives.

  • Feeling good about comparatives and superlatives?

Click through to the Got It? section to continue practicing!

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