Continuing with adjectives we now look at Adjectives of Comparison. Look at the following sentences:
"June is warm."
"July is warmer than June."
"July is the warmest month of the year."
Here we find that 'warm,' 'warmer' and 'warmest' are all adjectives of different degrees. These adjectives are used to describe nouns in the positive degree (warm) or comparative degree (warmer) or superlative degree (warmest), and help us to make comparisons.
In the positive degree we use an adjective that can stand by itself and applies to the noun that we are describing. In the example cited we can say that the weather in the month of June is warm. However, when we compare the weather in the months of June and July we find that ‘warm’ cannot stand by itself and we need a different word. Thus, we use ‘warmer’ and now the second sentence makes sense. This form of usage is of the comparative degree and usually you require two items to be compared.
Now, what do we do when we have more than two items to compare? In the example of the weather, there are twelve months in a year and we find that the month of July has the highest temperature as compared to the other months. We can safely say that the weather in July is the warmest in the year. Here, the word ‘warmest’ is used in the superlative degree. The superlative degree is used when you compare a whole series or an entire list.
Again, to reiterate, adjectives of comparison can be used to compare ideas, places, persons, things or animals. Adjectives of comparison introduce a sense of proportion and the reader gets to compare and determine whether one is better or the best. In the following quiz you will learn the comparative forms of some different words.