Adverbs of Comparison

Simple Definition with Examples

There are three types of Adverbs of comparison, they are- positive, comparative and superlative adverbs. Positive adverbs of comparison are used to make general comparisons without directly comparing two or more things. Some examples of positive comparison are- quick, big, long, deep, strong and cool etc. Comparative Adverbs on the other hand are used to compare two things and end with the alphabets ‘er’. For example- quicker, bigger, longer, deeper, stronger and cooler.

Superlative adverbs are used to compare two or more things together and end with ‘est’. Some examples of superlative adverbs are-quickest, biggest, longest, deepest, strongest and coolest. To better understand the three Adverbs of Comparison we will analyze few sentences using them. Read the sentences given below-

  • Ram’s response was quick.
  • Ram’s response was quicker than Punit’s.
  • Ram’s response was the quickest of all.

Before we start analyzing the above sentences, there are few things that we must keep in mind- quick is a two syllable word like big, long, cool, strong etc. The first sentence generally compares or gives the impression of Ram’s response with comparing it with someone else’s. The second sentence compares the responses of Ram to that of Punit and declares Ram’s response to be ‘quicker’ than Punit.

Now, turning to the third sentence we know that the response of Ram is being compared with more than one person and therefore a word ‘quickest’ is used. Therefore, in the above three sentences- quick, quicker and quickest are the positive, comparative and superlative Adverbs of comparison respectively. To better understand we will form three sentences using the word ‘strong’, in all the three forms-

  • Delhi University has a strong student’s union.
  • Delhi University has a stronger student’s union than SM University.
  • The student’s union of Delhi University is the strongest of any other college in NCR.

It is obvious that the first sentence doesn’t make any direct comparison, hence ‘strong’ is a positive adverb of comparison. The second sentence compares two universities and therefore ‘stronger’ is a comparative adverb and the third sentence compares Delhi University from any other University in the region using the superlative Adverb ‘strongest’.

Now that you have understood the Adverbs of Comparison for two syllable words, it is now time to switch to three or more syllable words. For example consider the words- comfortable, understandable, reasonable, affordable, responsible etc. These words are three or more than three syllable words and their positive, comparative and superlative forms are used in a little different way form that of the two syllable words. We will analyze few sentences to understand the use of three syllable words-

  • This house is affordable.
  • This house is more affordable than the other one.
  • This house is most affordable of them all.

The first sentence makes no direct comparison and uses ‘affordable’ as a general comparison and is therefore positive Adverb of comparison. The second sentence has a comparative adverb –‘more affordable’ while the third has ‘most affordable’. Therefore it is clear that any comparative adverb of three or more syllable must be prefixed by ‘more’ and the superlative adverb of the same by ‘most’. Moreover the same rule also applies to the adverbs ending with ‘ly’. For Ex- deeply, strongly, quickly etc. Like-

  • Rohan was deeply involved in the annual function. ( positive comparison)
  • I was more deeply going through the book than listening to the lecture. ( Comparative adverb- more deeply)
  • The situation was most quickly analyzed by the department. ( superlative adverb- most quickly)


  • Positive Adverbs of Comparison List

Big, small, long, quick, deep, happy, sad, strong, hot, little etc

  • Comparative Adverbs of Comparison List

Bigger, smaller, longer, quicker, deeper, happier, sadder, stronger, hotter, less etc

  • Superlative Adverbs of Comparison list

Biggest, smallest, longest, quickest, deepest, happiest, saddest, strongest, hottest, least etc.

Also- more deeply, most deeply, more strongly, most strongly, more quickly and most quickly etc.

Exercises/Worksheet/Activities/Examples with Answers

Carefully read the sentences provided below fill in the appropriate Adverbs of Comparisons, also mentioning their types.

  • Titanic was a _______ ship.
  • Titanic was _________ than a normal sea liner.
  • Titanic was the__________ among all the ships of White Star Line Company.
  • India has _______ presence in United Nations than Pakistan.
  • River Nile is the _________ of all the rivers in the world.
  • House stay is a __________ option than the Hotel.
  • Bike travels _______ than the bicycle.
  • He was ________ involved into the academics than in sports.
  • Jallianwalan Bagh massacre was the _________ part of Indian history.
  • India _________ defended its estranged citizens than any other nation.
  • River Ganga is ______ than the Kaveri.
  • Kanchenjunga is the _________ mountain peak in India.
  • Brahmaputra is the _________ River in India.
  • My son is ________ at school, than at home.
  • May- June are the ________ months in India.
  • Asian elephants are ________ than the African elephants.
  • He has become ________ than the last year.
  • Antarctic is obviously __________ than Washington DC or New Delhi.
  • The local administration is _________ bothered about the problem of open defecation.
  • Always be ready to be prepared for the _________.

Answers- 1) big-positive, 2) bigger-comparative, 3) biggest-superlative, 4) stronger-comparative, 5) longest-superlative, 6) more comfortable-comparative, 7)faster-comparative, 8) more deeply-comparative, 9) saddest-superlative, 10) most strongly-superlative, 11) longer-comparative,12) highest-superlative, 13) deepest-superlative, 14) happier-comparative, 15) hottest-superlative, 16) smaller-comparative, 17) more responsible-comparative, 18) cooler-comparative, 19) least-superlative, 20) worst-superlative.

Related Information:

Adverbs of Reason/Purpose
Adverbs of Frequency
Adverbs of Comment and Viewpoint
Adverbs of Affirmation and Negation
Adverbs of Time
Adverbs of Degree/Intensity/Quantity

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