Difference Between Comparative And Superlative

We use the comparative to compare one person, thing, action, event or group with another person, thing etc. We use the superlative to compare somebody/something with the whole group that she/he/it belongs to.

  • Mary is taller than her three sisters.
  • Mary is the tallest of the four girls.
  • He plays better than anybody else in the team.
  • He is the best player in the team.
  • Iron is more useful than any other metal.
  • Iron is the most useful metal.

When a group only has two members, we sometimes use the comparative instead of the superlative.

  • John and Tom are clever boys, but I think John is the cleverer/cleverest of the two.
  • Take the shorter/shortest of the two routes.
  • Alice and Mary are rich women. But Alice is the richer/richest of the two.

Some people feel that a superlative is incorrect in this case.

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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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