Comparison of adverbs in English

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Grammatical constructions used for comparing adverbs

There are three forms of comparison:

  • positive
  • comparative
  • superlative

1. Comparison with -er/-est

hard → harder → (the) hardest

We use -er/-est with the following adverbs:

1.1. all adverbs with one syllable

positive comparative superlative
fast faster fastest
high higher highest

1.2. the adverb early

positive comparative superlative
early earlier earliest

2. Comparison with more – most

adverbs ending on -ly (except: early)

positive comparative superlative
carefully more carefully (the) most carefully

3. Irregular adverbs

positive comparative superlative
well better best
badly worse worst
much more most
little less least
far farther farthest
further furthest

ATTENTION!

In informal English some adverbs are used without -ly (e.g. cheap, loud, quick).

There are two forms of comparison possible, depending on the form of the adverb:

  • cheaply → more cheaply → most cheaply
  • cheap → cheaper → cheapest

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