Comparison of adverbs-Rules & Examples

Comparison of Adverbs

Comparison of adverbs-Rules & Examples

Degrees of Comparison of Adverbs

Like adjectives, we can also make comparisons with adverbs. The comparative form of adverb shows differences and similarities between two things (actions or states). The adverbs in the superlative form are used to talk about extremes. The positive degree of adverb does not make any comparison. When we want to show that two things or people are similar in some way, we use as + adverb + as
  • He stayed here as long as his brother.
  • She cannot run as fast as I can.
  • I will be left as soon as they arrive.
  • Does he still run as slowly a she used to?
  • He didn’t go as quickly as his brother.

Examples of Comparative Adverbs

  • She learns faster than I.
  • My bike runs slower/ more slowly than hers.
  • I can write better than he thinks.
  • Try to place the glasses more carefully.
  • He answered more abruptly.
  • Griffon vultures flew much higher than most birds.
  • She always hit the ball more powerfully than other players.

Examples of Superlative Adverbs

  • She is the fastest learner in the class.
  • She walks most quietly.
  • They accepted our offer most appreciatively.
  • Ahmad ran fastest in the competition.
  • She ate the dinner most greedily.
  • Of all the students in our class, Hakeem speaks English the most fluently.
  • Who studied the hardest?
It is important to note that only Adverbs of Time, Degree, and Manner admit of comparison. There are many adverbs that we cannot make any comparison with them. For example, where, here, there, now, then, etc.

Rules of Forming Comparatives and Superlatives Adverbs.

To form the comparative and superlative degree of adverbs, we can categorize the adverbs in three ways.
  1. One or two-syllable adverbs
  2. Adverbs ending in -ly
  3. Irregular Adverbs

Comparison of Adverbs Rule 1:

One or two-syllable adverbs form their comparative when “-er” is added to the positive degree and form superlative by adding -est.

Positive DegreeComparative DegreeSuperlative Degree

Adverbs already end in e take “-r” and -st in comparative and superlative form, respectively. 

Positive DegreeComparative DegreeSuperlative Degree

Comparison of Adverbs  Rule 2:

Adverbs end in “-ly” 

Adverbs ending in -ly take more or less in comparative and most or least in the superlative degree.
Positive DegreeComparative DegreeSuperlative Degree
AccuratelyMore/less AccuratelyMost/least Accurately
Happily More/less HappilyMost/least Happily
Beautifully More Beautifully Most Beautifully
EasilyMore EasilyMost Easily
Quickly More Quickly Most Quickly
Certainly More Certainly Most Certainly
JoyfullyMore JoyfullyMost Joyfully
  • She eats more quickly than me.
  • I write less quickly than her sister.
  • I see him most frequently on Monday.
  • The vehicles run least frequently on Friday.

Comparison of Adverbs Rule 3: Irregular Adverbs

A few adverbs have irregular comparative and superlative forms.
Positive DegreeComparative DegreeSuperlative Degree
Much MoreMost
Certainly More Certainly Most Certainly
JoyfullyMore JoyfullyMost Joyfully
  • She talked little about her friends.
  • She performed badly in the competition.
  • She did worse in the second competition.
  • The public voted him the region’s worst performed teacher.
  • David plays well.
  • Arjun plays better than David.
  • Ahmad plays best of all.
  • Does she work much?
  • I study more than others do.
  • She watches movies most of the other roommates. 

Adverbs with two Forms

The following adverbs have two forms to a positive degree. In these cases, they also have two forms in comparative and superlative form. 
Positive DegreeComparative DegreeSuperlative Degree
Loud or LoudlyLouder or More LoudlyLoudest or Most Loudly
Quick or Quickly Quicker or More QuicklyQuickest or Most Quickly
Slow or Slowly Slower or More SlowlySlowest or Most Slowly
Cheap or Cheaply Cheaper or More CheaplyCheapest or Most Cheaply
  • He ran quickest (most quickly)
  • The dog bark loud(loudly)
  • The dog barked louder(more loudly) than the other.
  • We got some books cheap (cheaply) in the sale.

Gradable Adverbs

The comparison is only made with gradable adverbs. The adverbs used with gradable adjectives are called gradable adverbs. Gradable adverbs used with adjectives make their meaning stronger or weaker.
He is a very/extremely/remarkably strong man in this village.
She is a quiet/slightly strong woman in this village.
He is not a very strong man in this village.
These sentences show that the intensity of something can be a bit or a lot. 

Non-gradable Adverbs

Adverbs that qualifying non-gradable adjectives are called no-gradable adverbs. Adjectives that cannot usually be modified are non-gradable adjectives.
He’s completely mad.
Our shoes are entirely identical.
His answer was perfectly correct.
It’s practically impossible.
Commonly used non-gradable adverbs are
  • Completely
  • Wholly
  • Perfectly
  • Absolutely
  • Totally
  • Thoroughly
  • Almost
  • Mostly
  • Virtually
  • Mainly
  • Essentially
  • Practically 

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