Comparatives are words that are used to (as the name suggests) compare things. Words like: bigger, longer, taller, faster, slower, shorter, and smaller are comparatives. Superlatives are those things that you find in high school yearbooks where students vote for the student who is “most likely to succeed,” “best dressed,” “most popular,” and so on. Be careful not to mix up superlatives with comparatives or regular adjectives.

Example: Those are good [adjective] cars; that is a better [comparative] car; this is the best [superlative] car.

Some of these adjectives follow a regular pattern: nice, nicer, nicest. The comparative ends in -er, the superlative ends with -est, and both use the original stem “nice.” Other adjectives (like the word “good” in the example) are irregular adjectives that may not follow a regular pattern.

Example: My sister is a bad [adjective] driver, my mother is worse [comparative], but my father is the worst [superlative].

Beware of incorrectly spelling irregular adjectives. Common misspellings include: bestest, more bigger, mostest.