Ory's writing notes: Modifiers part 3, Comparisons.

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Often, we use adjectives and adverbs to compare. There are three degrees of comparisons: Positive (or Negative), Comparative, and Superlative. Here are some examples.

Positive/negative: The Bear is red/The Bear is not red.
Comparative: The Bear is redder than an apple.
Superlative: That Bear is the reddest of them all.

Pretty simple yeah?

When you talk about one thing; you use positive/negative. When you talk about two things; you use comparative. When you talk about more than two things; you use superlative.

Now let us break this down a little more.

For Postive Comparative you will either add an Er (Usually words with one or two syllables) to the end of the word or you will add More (Some two-syllable words and all three-syllable words). Some words you can do either or. Here is an example.

Example: Heavier or More heavy.

For Postive Comparative you will either add an Er (Usually words with one or two syllables) to the end of the word or you will add More (Some two-syllable words and all three-syllable words).

For Negatives, you add Less for Comparatives, and you add Least for superlatives.

Like anything else, Comparatives have words that have irregular forms (and irregular forms are always what get me.)

Here are some examples I have.


Some words have multiple forms due to the fact that the same word can have multiple meanings.

Here are some examples I have.

Little (Size)/littler/littlest.
Little (amount)/less/least.
Late (time)/Later/Latest.
Late (Order)/latter/last.
Old (age)/Older/oldest.
Old (order)/Elder/Eldest.
Far (distance)/Farther/Farthest.
Far (progression)/Further/Furthest.

Also, some comparatives are absolutes. They don't have other forms of the word. Some examples are absolute comparatives are: Best, Worst, Dead, Pregnant, First, Last, unique, perfect, Stright, round, Square.

Super Duper important rule: Don't confuse Adjectives and Adverbs.


I danced bad last night (incorrect)
I danced badly last night (Correct.)

The dance was badly (incorrect)
The dance was bad (Correct)

Countable vs Non-Countable.

If you can actually count the item, with a number, (People, books, dollars) use these adjectives: Many, more, most, few, fewer, fewest, several.

If you can not count the item, a large amount (Sugar, Sand, rain) use these adjectives: Much, more, most, little, less, least, some.

So I want to end this with some basic rules.

Do not combine Er or Est with More or Most. One or the other people. Example: I am the most cutest girl ever.

Don't do Double negatives. Example: I did not dance no songs.

Be sure you place the adverbs: Just, Only, Almost, Even, Hardly, Merely, and Nearly in front of the verb they modify. (I don't have any good examples, but misplacing these words may change the meaning of the sentence.)

Illogical comparisons. Sometimes you will compare things that shouldn't be compared. This sometimes happens when we leave words out. Here is an example.

My Teeth are better than Jack. (Illogical.)
My Teeth are in better shape than Jack's teeth. (Logical.)


This ends my notes on comparisons. I personally don't use a lot of Comparisons in my writing. They are good if you are trying to paint a picture by comparing it to other things for the reader, but sometimes taking the extra time to find that one word is a better solution. Here is an example though of me using one.

'The silhouette stood taller than a doorway and blacker than any of the other shadows in the house.'

This ends my notes on Modifiers (to be honest, my least favorite part of speech.) Next, we will be looking at prepositions and prepositional phrases.
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