Adverbs: Comparative & Superlative

Rule

In general, comparative and superlative forms of adverbs are the same as for adjectives:

  • add -er or -est to short adverbs:
AdverbComparativeSuperlative

hard
late
fast

harder
later 
faster

the hardest
the latest 
the fastest

Example:

  • Jim works harder than his brother.
  • Everyone in the race ran fast, but John ran the fastest of all.

Rule

With adverbs ending in -lyuse more for the comparative and most for the superlative:

AdverbComparativeSuperlative

quietly
slowly
seriously

more quietly
more slowly
more seriously

most quietly
most slowly
most seriously

Example:

  • The teacher spoke more slowly to help us to understand.
  • Could you sing more quietly please?

Rule

Some adverbs have irregular comparative forms:

AdverbComparativeSuperlative
badly
far
little
well
worse
farther/further
less
better
worst
farthest/furthest
least
best

Example:

  • The little boy ran further than his friends.
  • You’re driving worse today than yesterday !

BE CAREFUL! Sometimes ‘most‘ can mean ‘very’:

  • We were most grateful for your help
  • I am most impressed by this application.

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