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Lesson 1.8a Comparative and Superlative Forms of Adverbs

downloadable worksheet


Like adjectives, you can indicate comparisons using adverbs with their comparative and superlative forms, either -er/-est or more/less.

 (Not all adverbs that take comparative -er can also take superlative -est.)


            The runner ran harder/faster during the last mile of the race.

            The runner ran hardest/fastest during the last mile of the race.


            We ate dinner earlier/later than usual.

            She arrived earliest/ latest of all the guests.


            My friend runs more frequently than I do.

            My friend most often runs in the morning.


Typically, as with adjectives, shorter, one-syllable words take -er and -est and longer, multi-syllabic words take more and most: more/most expensive, more/most satisfying. Adverbs that end in -ly always take -er and -est: more slowly.


Also, as with adjectives, some adverbs have irregular comparative and superlative forms:

            Our team played badly/worse/worst at the soccer game.

            Our team played well / better/best at the soccer game.


Some adverbs cannot have comparative and superlative forms. From the following list of adverbs, determine which ones cannot and see if you can come up with a reason why not. See what sounds right to you and your peers. For those that can take a comparative form, write whether -er or more sounds better. Do the same for the superlative forms.


actually, afterwards, almost, always, annually, anxiously, boldly, bravely, briefly, busily, calmly, carefully, carelessly, cautiously, certainly, cheerfully, clearly, continually, courageously, daily, daintily, dearly, defiantly, deliberately, easily, elegantly, energetically, equally, especially, eventually, exactly, excitedly, fairly, faithfully, far, fast, fortunately, frankly, gracefully, immediately, interestingly, knowingly, nervously, often, quietly, seldom, sometimes, soon, surprisingly, suspiciously, sweetly, truthfully, unnaturally, upbeat, vaguely


key words: adverbs, parts of speech, comparative, superlative


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1a Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences. 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.1g Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified. 


Here is this lesson as a pdf.



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