Comparative Adjectives

Adjectives have inflections. That is, adjectives change in spelling according to how they are used in a sentence. Adjectives have three forms: positive, comparative, and superlative.

The simplest form of the adjective is its positive form. When two objects or persons are being compared, the comparative form of the adjective is used. When three or more things are being compared, we use the adjective’s superlative form.

A few adjectives, like good and bad form their comparatives with different words: That is a good book. This is a better book. Which of the three is the best book? He made a bad choice. She made a worse choice. They made the worst choice of all. 

The comparative forms of most adjectives, however, are formed by adding the suffixes -er and -est, or by placing the words more and most in front of the positive form.


1. One syllable words form the comparative by adding -er and -est:

brave, braver, bravest
small, smaller, smallest
dark, darker, darkest.

2. Two-syllable words that end in -y, -le, and -er form the comparative by adding -er and -est:

pretty, prettier, prettiest
happy, happier, happiest
noble, nobler, noblest
clever, cleverer, cleverest

3. Words of more than two syllables form the comparative with more and most:

beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful.
resonant, more resonant, most resonant

4. Past participles used as adjectives form the comparative with more and most:

crooked, broken, damaged, defeated, etc.

5. Predicate adjectives (adjectives used to describe the subject of a sentence) form the comparative with more and most:

afraid, mute, certain, alone, silent, etc.

Ex. She is afraid. He is more afraid. They are the most afraid of them all.

So far, so good, but when it comes to two-syllable words other than the ones covered by Rule 2, the writer must consider custom and ease of pronunciation. Usually, two syllable words that have the accent on the first syllable form the comparative by adding -er and -est.

Ex. common, cruel, pleasant, quiet.

BUT tasteless, more tasteless, most tasteless. Some two-syllable words that have the accent on the second syllable form the comparative by adding -er and -est: polite, profound, BUT: bizarre, more bizarre, most bizarre..

50 Incorrect Pronunciations That You Should Avoid

Here are 50 frequently mispronounced words. The list is by no means exhaustive, but provides a good start.
1. aegis – The ae in this word is pronounced /ee/. Say EE-JIS/, not /ay-jis/. In mythology the “aegis” is associated especially with the goddess Athene. It is her shield with the Gorgon’s head on it.
2. anyway – The problem with this word is not so much pronunciation as the addition of an unnecessary sound. Don’t add an s to make it “anyways.” The word is ANYWAY.
3. archipelago – Because the word is from Greek, the ch is pronounced with a /k/ sound. Say /AR-KI-PEL-A-GO/, not /arch-i-pel-a-go/.
4. arctic – Note the C after the R. Say /ARK-TIK/, not /ar-tik/.
5. accessory – the first C has a “hard” sound. Say /AK-SESS-OR-Y/, not /ass-ess-or-y/.
6. ask – The S comes before the K. Say /ASK/ not /aks/.
7. asterisk – Notice the second S. Say /AS-TER-ISK/, not /as-ter-ik/.
8. athlete – The word has two syllables, not three. Say /ATH-LETE/, not /ath-uh-lete/.
9. barbed wire- Notice the AR in the first syllable. Say /BARBD/, not /bob/.
10. cache – The word is of French origin, but it does not end with an accented syllable. A cache is a hiding place or something that is being hidden: a cache of supplies; a cache of money; a cache of drugs. Say /KASH/, not /ka-shay/.
11. candidate – Notice the first d. Say /KAN-DI-DATE/, not /kan-i-date/.
12. cavalry – This word refers to troops that fight on horseback. Say /KAV-UL-RY/, not /kal-vuh-ry/. NOTECalvary refers the place where Jesus was crucified and IS pronounced /kal-vuh-ry/.)
13. chaos – The spelling ch can represent three different sounds in English: /tch/ as in church, /k/ as in Christmas, and /sh/ as in chef. The first sound is heard in words of English origin and is the most common. The second sound of ch, /k/, is heard in words of Greek origin. The third and least common of the three ch sounds is heard in words adopted from modern French. Chaos is a Greek word. Say /KAY-OS/, not /tchay-os/.
14. clothes – Notice the TH spelling and sound. Say /KLOTHZ/, not /kloz/.
15. daïs – A daïs is a raised platform. The pronunciation fault is to reverse the vowel sounds. The word is often misspelled as well as mispronounced. Say /DAY-IS/ not /dī-is/.
16. dilate – The word has two syllables, not three. Say /DI-LATE/, not /di-a-late/.
17. drowned – This is the past participle form of the verb drown. Notice that there is no D on drown. Don’t add one when using the word in its past form. Say /DROWND/, not /drown-ded/.
18. et cetera – This Latin term is often mispronounced and its abbreviation is frequently misspelled. Say /ET CET-ER-A/, not /ex cet-er-a/. For the abbreviation, write ETC., not ect.
19. February – Just about everyone I know drops the first r in February. The spelling calls for /FEB-ROO-AR-Y/, not /feb-u-ar-y/.
20. foliage – The word has three syllables. Say /FO-LI-UJ/, not /fol-uj/.
21. forte – English has two words spelled this way. One comes from Italian and the other from French. The Italian word, a musical term meaning “loud,” is pronounced with two syllables: /FOR-TAY/. The French word, an adjective meaning “strength” or “strong point,” is pronounced with one syllable: /FORT/.
22. Halloween – The word for the holiday Americans celebrate with such enthusiasm on October 31 derives from “Hallowed Evening,” meaning “evening that has been made holy.” The word “hallow” comes from Old English halig, meaning “holy.” Notice the a in the first syllable and say /HAL-O-WEEN/, not /hol-lo-ween/.
23. height – The word ends in a /T/ sound, not a /TH/ sound. Say /HITE/, not /hith/.
24. heinous – People unfamiliar with the TV show Law and Order: S.V.U. may not know that heinous has two syllables. (The show begins with this sentence: “In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous.”) Say /HAY-NUS/, not /heen-i-us/.
25. hierarchy – The word has four syllables. Say /HI -ER-AR-KY,/ not /hi-ar-ky/.
26. Illinois – As with Arkansas, the final “s” in Illinois is not pronounced. Say /IL-I-NOY/ (and /Ar-kan-saw/, not /il-li-noiz/ or /ar-kan-sas/). NOTE: Some unknowledgeable folks may still be trying to pronounce Arkansas as if it had something to do with Kansas. The pronunciation /ar-kan-zuz/ is waaay off base.
27. interpret – The word has three syllables. Don’t add one! Say /IN-TER-PRET/, not /in-ter-pre-tate/.
28. incident – Something that happens is an “incident.” Don’t say “incidence” when you mean a specific event. There IS a word “incidence,” but it has a different meaning.
29. “irregardless” – See the real word, regardless.
30. jewelry – The word has three syllables. Say /JEW-EL-RY/, not /jew-el-er-y/. The pronunciation /jewl-ry/ is common but not correct, as it removes one syllable from the word.
31. library – Notice where the R comes in the word. Say /LI-BRAR-Y/, not /li-ber-ry/.
32. medieval – The word has four syllables. The first E may be pronounced either short [med] or long [meed]. Say /MED-EE-EEVAL/ or /MEE-DEE-EEVAL/, not /meed-eval/.
33. miniature – The word has four syllables. Say /MIN-I-A-TURE/, not /min-a-ture/.
34. Mischievous – This is the adjective form of mischief whose meaning is “calamity” or “harm.” Mischievous is now associated with harmless fun so that the expression “malicious mischief” has been coined as another term for vandalism.Mischievous has three syllables with the accent on the first syllable: /MIS-CHI-VUS/. Don’t say /mis-chee-vee-us/.
35. niche – The word is from the French and, though many words of French origin have been anglicized in standard usage, this is one that cries out to retain a long “e” sound and a /SH/ sound for the che. Say /NEESH/, not /nitch/.
36. orient – This word has three syllables. As a verb it means to place something in its proper position in relation to something else. It comes from a word meaning “east” and originally meant positioning something in relation to the east. Now it is used with a more general meaning. Say /OR-I-ENT/, not /or-i-en-tate/.
37. old-fashioned – This adjective is formed from a past-participle: “fashioned.” Don’t leave off the ED. Say /OLD-FASHIOND/, not /old-fashion/.
38. picture – There’s a K sound in picture. Don’t confuse picture with pitcher. Say /PIK-TURE/, not /pitch-er/. Pitcher is a different word. A pitcher is a serving vessel with a handle.
39. precipitation – This is a noun that refers to rain or snow, or anything else that normally falls from the sky. As with prescription (below), the prefix is PRE-. Say /PRE-CIP-I-TA-TION/, not /per-cip–i-ta-tion/.
40. prescription – Note the prefix PRE- in this word. Say /PRE-SCRIP-TION/, not /per- scrip-tion/ or /pro-scrip-tion/.
41. preventive – The word has three syllables. A common fault is to add a syllable. Say PRE-VEN-TIVE/, not /pre-ven-ta-tive.
42. pronunciation – This word is a noun. It comes from the verb pronounce, BUT it is not pronounced like the verb. Say /PRO-NUN-CI-A-TION/, not /pro-nounce-i-a-tion/.
43. prostate – This word for a male gland is often mispronounced. There is an adjective prostrate which means to be stretched out facedown on the ground. When speaking of the gland, however, say /PROS-TATE/, not /pros-trate/.
44. Realtor – The word has three syllables. Say /RE-AL-TOR/, not /re-a-la-tor/.
45. regardless – The word has three syllables. Please don’t add an IR to make it into the abomination “irregardless”.
46. sherbet – The word has only one r in it. Say /SHER-BET/ not /sher-bert/.
47. spayed – This is a one-syllable word, the past participle form of the verb to spay, meaning to remove the ovaries from an animal. Like the verb drown (above) the verb spay does not have a D in its infinitive form. Don’t add one to the past participle. Say /SPADE/, not /spay-ded/.
48. ticklish – The word has two syllables. Say /TIK-LISH/, not /tik-i-lish/.
49. tract – Religious evangelists often hand out long printed statements of belief called “tracts.” That’s one kind of “tract.” Houses are built on “tracts.” Then there’s the word “track.” Athletes run on “tracks.” Animals leave “tracks.” Don’t say /TRAKT/ when you mean /TRAK/, and vice-versa.
50. vehicle – Although there is an H in the word, to pronounce it is to sound hicky. Say /VEE-IKL/, not /vee-Hikl/.
51. wintry – Here’s another weather word often mispronounced, even by the weather person. The word has two syllables. Say /WIN-TRY/, not /win-ter-y/.


"Bona fide" is a Latin phrase meaning "in good faith," most often used to mean "genuine" today. It is often misspelled as if it were the past tense of an imaginary verb: "bonafy."

Spoken English Level II

Construct Sentence of your own for the followings:

Asking for information

1.       Can you tell me……… please
2.       Could you tell me…….. please
3.       Do you know……….
4.       Do you happen to know…….
5.       Can you help me……..
6.       Could anyone tell me……….
7.       I’d like to know
8.       Do you have any idea…….
9.       I wonder if you could tell me…
10.   I wonder if someone could tell me…..
11.   I should be interested to know…….
12.   I hope you don’t mind my asking, but…
13.   Know…
14.   Any clue…
15.   Any idea…

Some one’s option

1.       What do you think / fell about…
2.       What’s do your opinion / reaction…
3.       What are your feeling / views about…
4.       What’s your view / opinion…
5.       How do you see…
6.       Have you got any comments on…
7.       Do you have any opinion / particular view on…
8.       Could I know your reaction to…
9.       How would you react to…
10.   What would you say to…

Avoiding giving an opinion

1.       It’s difficult to say…..
2.       Can’t say really…..
3.       Well, I don’t know, really……
4.       I’d rather not say anything now……..
5.       I’d have to think about……..
6.       Well, it all depends…….
7.       I’m sorry I can’t answer……..
8.       I’m afraid I can’t comment on that now….

Saying something again

1.       I said…
2.       I was just saying remarking…
3.       What I said was…..
4.       I was just / merely expressing the view……
5.       I was proposing / suggesting that…….
6.       I was pointing out the fact that……..
7.       I was just wondering / enquiring……

Making suggestion

1.       May I suggest that……
2.       You may / might like to……..
3.       Have you considered / thought of……..
4.       Would you care to……….
5.       Why don’t we / you………
6.       Why not……….
7.       How about…….
8.       What about……
9.       Let’s / let me…
10.   We / you could……
11.   Shall we…….
12.   We might…….
13.   I’ll tell you what. We’ll……..

Asking whether someone remembers

1.       Remember…….
2.       Do you remember…
3.       I’m sure you remember…….
4.       Don’t you remember……..
5.       You remember…….. don’t you……….
6.       Have you forgotten………
7.       You haven’t forgotten………. Have you……..
8.       You must remember……..
9.       I was wondering if you remember…
10.   Do you by any chance remember…………….