Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Quick 5 Point Novel Guide to COMPARATIVES vs. SUPERLATIVES

It seems every day we come across a new record, the best run ever, the best summer ever, the best twin...can we have a best twin. 

Let's look at the imaginary identical twins, Jayne and Lisa. Jayne has the best hair and the best taste in boyfriends...or does she? You see, here we are confusing Comparatives and Superlatives.



Let me explain in a Quick 5 Point Novel Guide to Comparatives vs. Superlatives


1. Comparatives

Comparatives are words to compare TWO items, twins, yourself now and then, Earth and Mars.


2. Superlatives

Superlatives are words used to compare THREE OR MORE things, triplets, summers, the planets in the solar system.


3. The --er Suffix or More

When we compare items we use the --er suffix or we place the word "more" before the adjective in question. The way to remember  comparatives is --er suffix has two letters and you use it to compare two things.


Examples

Jayne as better taste in boyfriends than her twin Lisa.

At marathons, I was faster then than now.

The Earth is more popular than Mars.


4. The --est Suffix or Most

When we compare three or more items we use the --est suffix or we place the word "most" before the adjective in question. The way to remember  superlative is --est suffix has three letters and you use it to compare three or more things.


Examples

Out of all of her boyfriends, I was the best.

Today, I ran my fastest marathon.

The Earth is the most popular planet in the solar system.


5. When to use More & Most

We usually use More and Most with multiple-syllable adjectives. For example, even though stupider is a word more stupid sounds better.

He is stupider than a burnt apple pie.
He is more stupid than a burnt apple pie.

Though there are exceptions, for example: 

Narrow, narrower, narrowest or simple, simpler, simplest
Two-syllable words ending in "ful" -- A hammer is more useful. vs. A hammer is usefuller.


 Famous errors

"Put your best foot forward." Unless, you are Jake the Peg, with an extra leg, this saying is wrong.