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Qualifying adjectives

What are qualifying or quantitative adjectives? The list is very long but to name a few: happy, nice, scary, friendly, beautiful, sad, mean etc.

Qualitative or qualifying adjectives are the most common type of adjective. We use them to describe or ascribe the quality of living and non-living beings and objects. Qualifying adjectives are non-countable but are gradable, which means they can be graded with comparatives and superlatives etc.

Note that, the nouns being qualified are highlighted in red: 
  • The man looks hungry. 
  • It’s quite a rough town.
  • What a beautiful day.
  • The man looks scary. 
  • All of my classmates are nice. 
Following are examples of qualifying adjectives being graded either in a comparative or superlative form. Note that all qualifying adjectives are gradable either by adding suffixes on to the end or using words such as; ‘more’ and ‘as…adjective…as’ for comparatives and ‘most’ for superlatives. Positives, comparatives, and superlatives:
  • I have a good job. Peter has a better job and Maria has the best job.
  • I’m quite a nice guy but my sister is nicer and my dad is the nicest. 
  • Shane is the least interesting of the group. His friend is interesting. Peter’s dad is more interesting and his wife is the most interesting. 
  • She is as scared as we are right now.
Comparatives with the construction; ‘as…adjective…as’:
  • She is just as beautiful as her friend.
  • They weren’t as surprised as me when we arrived.
  • She’s as disturbed as me right now.
Spelling rules for making adjectives into comparatives and superlatives. Plus, when to use ‘more’ and ‘most’. Comparatives; one syllable adjectives; fast, strong or smart: add ‘er’
  • I’m faster than you.
  • She’s stronger than him.
  • He’s smarter than me.
One syllable adjectives with a ‘consonant-vowel-consonant’; big, wet or sad: double the last consonant and add ‘er’.
  • She is bigger than us.
  • Yesterday was wetter than today.
  • I’m sadder than you today.
Two syllable adjectives ending in ‘y’; funny, busy or friendly: change the ‘y’ to an ‘i’ and add ‘er’.
  • He is a funnier comedian than the other one.
  • My colleagues are always busier than my former ones.
  • Anne is friendlier than we thought.
With regard to adverbs or adjectives with two or more syllables, such as; exciting, fantastic or helpful: just addmore‘.
  • This class is far more exciting than the last class.
  • I’m happy because Madrid is more fantastic during the summer.
  • The flight attendant was more helpful than I had imagined.
Exempt from the rules in making comparatives are the irregular adjectives of which, you just need to remember the comparative and superlative forms. Adjectives such as good, far or little for example. Below are the positive, comparative and superlatives forms: 
  • Sam is a good boy. Sally is better and Henry is the best. 
  • I’m from a far away country. George’s country is further/farther than mine and Sam’s country is the furthest/farthest. 
  • I would like just a little bit of bread, please. George had less bread and Harry has the least amount of bread.

Notice how the superlatives forms, ‘least’, ‘best’ and ‘furthest’ are being introduced by the article ‘the’. This is always the case with superlatives.

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