Comparatives   Superlatives   Equatives    Exercises

# Comparatives, Superlatives and Equatives

### Introduction

Comparatives (bigger than), Superlatives (the biggest) and Equatives (as big as) are ways of comparing things. You can compare things by using adjectives or adverbs, or nouns, but we'll deal here only with adjectives.

### 1. Comparatives

You can compare two things by saying one is more than the other (bigger, faster, stronger) or by saying one is less than the other (not as big, less happy, less open).

More = Plus

For the first sort of comparison, in English we either add  -er  to an adjective (bigger) or add the word more (more powerful). So we say this one is bigger but  this one is more powerful

In French there's only one way to form the comparative: celui-ci est plus grand, celui-ci est plus puissant.

To make a comparative then, you add plus to the adjective. Two adjectives have irregular comparatives:  bon > meilleur; mauvais > pire.

## Elle est plus rapide que lui.

#### She is faster than him.

Note that que is the equivalent here of than.

Less = Moins

In English, we use either less or not as ... as. In French, moins is used in exactly the same way plus is in the above examples.

## Il est moins préparé que son collègue.

#### He's not as well prepared as his colleague.

Note that que is the equivalent here of as.

### 2. Superlatives

As with Comparatives, there are two sorts of superlative: you can say something is the biggest, the most ridiculous or that it is the least big. Again, in English, we either add -est to an adjective or the word most:  (the fastest car I've ever had BUT the most ridiculous hairdo I've ever seen). For the second form, we add least (the least costly solution).

In French, the superlative is formed by adding a Definite Article and plus or moins to the adjective. The article varies according to the gender and number of the noun and if the adjective comes after the noun, the article is repeated.

## La moins coûteuse des solutions.

#### The least costly solution.

Remember that the article will combine with de or à to form Contractions

## Le virus de la grippe est un des plus contagieux et des plus cruels que l'espèce humaine ait à affronter. Un des plus rusés aussi.

### 3. Equatives

Equatives work in a similar way to Comparatives and Superlatives, but instead of pointing out differences they insist on similarities.

## Il est le plus grand. (the biggest - superlative)

Equatives use either aussi or autant

### Aussi

Aussi is used with adjectives and adverbs.

## On le prend aussi souvent que possible. (as often as possible)

### Autant

With verbs, autant is used; with nouns autant de