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milk has a greater degree of whiteness than the chalk, and that the snow has the greatest degree of whiteness.

Here the adjectives white, whiter, and whitest vary in form to express different degrees of the quality of white

ness.

These three degrees are the positive, white; the comparative, whiter; and the superlative, whitest.

Tell the three degrees of comparison in the adjectives in the following sentences:

1. My apple is large, Jane's is larger, and Mary's is the largest.

2. The sky in France is blue, ours is bluer, and Italy's is the bluest of all.

3. This book is pretty, yours is prettier, but my mother's is the prettiest.

Comparison of adjectives is their use to express quality in different degrees.

1. He is a wise man.

2. This is a sharp knife.

3. This is a large apple.

The positive degree of an adjective is its form to express a quality without indicating the degree of the quality.

1. He is a wiser man than his friend.

2. He is less prosperous than his neighbor.

3. That is a sharper knife than mine.

The comparative degree of an adjective is its form to express a higher or a lower degree of a quality than is expressed by the positive.

1. He is the wisest man in the country.

2. This is the sharpest knife in the room. 3. You have the largest apple.

4. You should not be the least studious boy in the class.

The superlative degree of an adjective is its form to express the highest or lowest degree of a quality.

There are three degrees of comparison, the positive, the comparative and the superlative.

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We see that to express qualities above the positive degree the forms of the adjectives are changed in several ways:

Small, smaller, smallest; dry, drier, driest; slow, slower, slowest.

1. Adjectives of one syllable generally add er to form the comparative, and est to form the superlative.

Able, abler, ablest; happy, happier, happiest; polite, politer, politest.

2. Adjectives of two syllables that end in le or y, or that are accented on the second syllable, annex er to form the comparative, and est to form the superlative.

Loyal, more loyal, most loyal; important, more important, most important.

3. Most other adjectives of two syllables and adjectives of more than two syllables prefix more to form the comparative, and most to form the superlative.

XLV. — IRREGULAR COMPARISON.

Some adjectives are compared irregularly. The following list contains most of those thus compared:

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An older brother, an older horse.

utmost, uttermost

upmost, uppermost

Older and oldest are used in speaking of both persons and things.

My elder brother, my eldest sister.

Elder and eldest are used in speaking of persons only.

Minor, major, junior, senior, interior, exterior, posterior, superior, inferior, ulterior, prior.

Some adjectives are used in the comparative only. These adjectives are from the Latin and are in the comparative degree in that language.

1. My horse is less valuable than yours.

2. John's book is the least soiled of any in the class.

These sentences show that degrees below the positive may be expressed by prefixing less or least to the positive.

1. James is the taller of the two brothers.

2. Mary is less able than her sister.

3. Mr. Peters is the tallest man in town.

4. John is the most diligent boy in the school.

It is seen by these sentences that the comparative degree of an adjective is used when only two persons or things are compared, and the superlative is used when more than two persons or things are compared.

Everlasting, eternal, immortal, supreme, extreme, perpendicular.

Adjectives that express the highest degree of a quality are not compared.

Write sentences using the following adjectives in the positive, comparative and superlative degrees: bright, late, early, wet, hot, friendly, capable, active, many, good.

Write sentences using these adjectives to express degrees below the positive: rough, restless, civil, picturesque, little, often.

Write five sentences comparing one thing with one other, or comparing only two things. Write five sen

tences comparing more than two things.

XLVI. NUMBER OF ADJECTIVES.

We say a good man, good men, a large horse, large horses. Adjectives of quality in English do not have forms to express number; the same forms of the adjective being used whether the noun is singular or plural.

Adjectives of quantity or position may express number by their forms, as one man, many men; this man, these men; each man, several men; neither man, the first man, the tenth man, few men.

When there is an idea of number expressed by the adjective it agrees with the noun in number.

The following adjectives are singular one, each, every, either, neither, this, that, much, all, meaning the whole, second, third, and all the ordinal numerals.

The following adjectives are plural: these, those, few,

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