Degree Of Comparison Rules For Competitive Exams 2022

Degree of Comparison forms an important part of the English Language section of various competitive exams.

Aspirants of various Government exams like Bank, SSC, RRB, etc must go through the degree of comparison rules and concept, as English Language is a separate and vital section in all these exams.

This article aims to provide rules of degree of comparison, examples and the list of degree of adjectives for candidates to ace the English Section easily.

What is the Degree of Comparison?

To describe, quantify, modify or identify nouns/pronouns, adjectives are used or reused. Adjectives have their own degrees called degrees of adjectives or degrees of comparison that compare one thing/person to another.

Adjectives have three degrees of comparison –

  • Positive degree of adjectives
  • Comparative degree of adjectives
  • Superlative degree of adjectives

Degrees of Comparison examples:

Positive degree – The cat runs fast.

Comparative degree – The cat runs faster than dogs.

Superlative degree – The cat runs fastest of all animals.

Degree Of Comparison Rules

Rule 1. When two items/people are compared, a comparative degree is used by putting ‘er’ to the adjective word in association with the word ‘than’. In some cases ‘more’ is used.

Comparative degree example:

  • She is smarter than her sister.
  • She is more cheerful than her sister.

Similarly, when more than two things/people are compared, the superlative degree is used by putting ‘est’ to the adjective word or in some cases ‘most’ is used.

Superlative degree of comparison examples:

  • He is the strongest wrestler.
  • He is the most handsome actor.

Rule 2. ‘More’ is used when you compare qualities of a single thing/person. Even if the first adjective is a single syllable word.

Degree of comparison examples:

Incorrect – She is smarter than clever.

Correct – She is more smart than clever.

Rule 3. Do not use double comparative adjectives or superlative adjectives.

Degree of comparison examples:

Incorrect – These mangoes are more tastier than those.

Correct – These mangoes are tastier than those.

Rule 4. Never use ‘more or most’ with adjectives that give absolute sense.

Degree of comparison example:

Incorrect – This track is more parallel to that one

Correct – This track is parallel and the other is not.

Rule 5. There are a few adjectives that are accompanied by ‘to’, like, senior, junior, superior, inferior, preferable,  prefer, elder. Do not use ‘than’ with these adjectives.

Degree of adjective examples:

Incorrect: I am elder than her.

Correct: I am elder to her.

Incorrect – This car brand is superior than that.

Correct – This card brand is superior to that.

Rule 6. When comparing two things, similarity should be there, i.e. similar things should be compared.

Examples of degree of comparison:

Incorrect – This wall colour is more beautiful than the old one. (wall colour is compared with the wall)

Correct  – This wall colour is more beautiful than that of the old one. (compare wall colour with wall colour)

Rule 7. When the comparative degree is used in the superlative degree sense

  1. Use ‘any other’ when thing/person of the same group is compared.

Degree of comparison example:

Incorrect: Reena is smarter than any student of her class.

Correct: Reena is smarter than any other student of her class.

  1. Use ‘any’ if comparison of things/person is outside the group.

Incorrect: Delhi is cleaner than any other city in Bangladesh.

Correct: Delhi is cleaner than any city in Bangladesh.

Rule 8. When in the same sentence two adjectives in different degrees of comparison are used, both should be complete in themselves.

Incorrect- She is as good if not worse than her sister.

Correct – She is as good as if not worse than her sister.

Rule 9. To show whether the difference between the compared thing/person is small or big, we use quantifiers for the comparative degree of an adjective such as (A bit, a little, a lot, far, much, a great deal, significantly, etc).

Example:

  • My hostel is only marginally bigger than yours.
  • She is a little more popular than her sister in their school.
  • Australia is slightly smaller than Africa.

We don’t use quantifiers with superlative degrees of adjectives but there are certain phrases commonly used with the superlative degrees of comparison.

Degree of Comparison Example:

  • In metropolitan cities, metros are by far the cheapest mode of transportation.
  • Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages in the world.
  • Siddhivinayak is the second richest temple in India.

Rule. 10. While changing the degree of comparison for the irregular adjectives, the word completely changes instead of adding ‘er’ or ‘est’.

Examples:

  • She has little milk in the jar.
  • She has less milk than he has.
  • She has the least amount of milk.
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