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acAdvanced Composition 
Degrees of Comparison: Harder or Hardest?

February 7, 2002


Using the three degrees of comparison-positive, comparative, and superlative-can be tricky. Tonight, we'll review the rules more thoroughly than usual.

Comparing with Adverbs:

The simplest, of course, is the positive degree of comparison. For example: "I walked quickly to get the milk at the store."

More difficult than positive, is the comparative degree of comparison. For example: "I walked more quickly than my dog, so she got a sore neck from pulling on the leash."

The most difficult is the superlative degree of comparison. For example: "I walked the most quickly compared to my dog and my wife."

Remember that to make things even more difficult, we have irregular comparative and superlatives, such as "well, better, best" and "badly, worse, worst." In addition, remember to use "more" and "most" with longer adverbs and adverbs ending in "ly."

Tonight's Writing Assignment:

Comparison is an important form of writing. Using adverbs of comparison is a more useful in comparison than in most other writing (of course!).
Tonight, compare yourself as a young person (at least 10 years younger than you are now) to the person you are today. Use the three degrees of comparison at least once each in your paragraph.

For example, "I am more careful now, as a driver, than I was when I first began driving."

Teacher Writing sample for this topic.

Please also visit your Advanced Composition Class Page where you can access current and past lessons.

More Lessons (index of past lesson worksheets)