Stage 1: Present examples  

Draw three cakes of different sizes on the board. Label them 1, 2 and 3. 

Say: ‘Compare these cakes. Compare cake one and cake two. What if you compare all three cakes?’ 

Write these sentences on the board: 

  • Cake two is bigger than cake one. 
  • Cake three is the biggest. 

Ask: ‘What else could you tell me about these cakes?’ 

Write these sentences on the board: 

  • Cake two is more delicious than cake one. 
  • Cake three is the most delicious. 

Ask: ‘Which cake would make you happy? Which cake would make you happier? Which cake would make you the happiest?’ 

Write happy-happier-happiest on the board. 

To help learners you could: 

  • underline the words ‘bigger than’, ‘the biggest’ and ‘more than’/‘the most’ 
  • divide words into syllables (/big/, de/li/cious) 
  • circle the ‘y’ in ‘happy’ and ‘ier’ and ‘iest’ 
  • ask specific questions about the differences between the comparatives and superlative adjectives. 

Stage 2: Take feedback 

Ask learners to share their feedback on what they noticed in the examples. Here are some key points you might want to share with them. 

  • Comparative and superlative adjectives describe people or things by comparing them to other people or things. 
  • Comparative adjectives are formed by adding ‘-er’ at the end of the adjective or by placing ‘more’ before it. 
  • Superlative adjectives are formed by adding ‘-est’ at the end of the adjective or placing ‘the most’ before the adjective. 

Help learners decide which form to use by looking at the following. 

  • Add ‘-er’ or ‘-est’ to one-syllable words (e.g. old-older-oldest) and two-syllable words that end in ‘y’ (e.g. happy-happier-happiest). 
  • Use ‘more’ or ‘most’ before two-syllable words that don’t end in ‘y’ (e.g. clever) and most multisyllable words (e.g. delicious-more delicious-most delicious).  
  • If one-syllable words have short vowel sounds, double the consonant at the end and add ‘-er’ or ‘-est’ (e.g. big-bigger-biggest).  
  • For two-syllable words ending in ‘y’, change ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘-er’ or ‘-est’.  

Stage 3: Use the grammar 

Underline comparatives and superlative adjectives 

Use a page from a coursebook and ask learners to identify all the comparatives and superlative adjectives. 

Write sentences using comparatives and superlatives 

Write nouns on small pieces of paper. 

Learners pick three pieces of paper at random and write as many sentences as they can using the nouns and adjectives. 

For example: brother, snake, elephant 

  • My brother is bigger than a snake but smaller than an elephant. 
  • An elephant’s trunk is longer than a snake’s body. 
  • An elephant is friendlier than a snake, but my brother is the friendliest of all. 

Play a game 

Group learners in groups of four. They describe each other using adjectives, e.g. Musa is the tallest in this group. Sihle is taller than Adam but shorter than Musa. 

The learner who uses the most comparatives and superlatives is the winner. 


Comparative adjective: The form of an adjective used when comparing one thing to another, e.g. quicker, better, more important. 

Feedback: Information about how or how well a learner has done something.  

Superlative adjective: When comparing a group of objects, it is the adjective form which describes something at the upper or lower limit of a quality (the tallest, the smallest, the fastest, the highest).