The same process can be used to downplay the degree:

See, also, the note on , below, for the position of such words as

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A third means for creating the opposite of an adjective is to combine it with or to create a comparison which points in the opposite direction. Interesting shades of meaning and tone become available with this usage. It is kinder to say that "This is the least beautiful city in the state." than it is to say that "This is the ugliest city in the state." (It also has a slightly different meaning.) A candidate for a job can still be and yet be "less worthy of consideration" than another candidate. It's probably not a good idea to use this construction with an adjective that is already a negative: "He is less unlucky than his brother," although that is not the same thing as saying he is luckier than his brother. Use the comparative when the comparison is between two things or people; use the superlative when the comparison is among many things or people.

Certain adjectives have irregular forms in the comparative and superlative degrees:

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Once your essay is done, you should read it over for any errors. This means it needs to be edited. You can read your essay yourself or you can have one of your peers review it for you. The following is a checklist you can use to have a peer read over your essay and leave comments.

And sometimes a set phrase, usually an informal noun phrase, is used for this purpose:

The most common of the so-called a- adjectives are ablaze, afloat, afraid, aghast, alert, alike, alive, alone, aloof, ashamed, asleep, averse, awake, aware. These adjectives will primarily show up as predicate adjectives (i.e., they come after a linking verb).

If the intensifier  accompanies the superlative, a determiner is also required:


is similar to on the other hand

Unlike , which often seem capable of popping up almost anywhere in a sentence, adjectives nearly always appear immediately before the noun or noun phrase that they modify. Sometimes they appear in a string of adjectives, and when they do, they appear in a set order according to category. (See .) When indefinite pronouns — such as something, someone, anybody — are modified by an adjective, the adjective comes after the pronoun:

See the section on for further help on this matter.

The degrees of comparison are known as the positive, the comparative, and the superlative. (Actually, only the comparative and superlative show degrees.) We use the comparative for comparing two things and the superlative for comparing three or more things. Notice that the word frequently accompanies the comparative and the word precedes the superlative. The inflected suffixes and suffice to form most comparatives and superlatives, although we need and when a two-syllable adjective ends in (happier and happiest); otherwise we use and when an adjective has more than one syllable.

The five steps to the Writing Process are:

Be careful not to form comparatives or superlatives of adjectives which already express an extreme of comparison — , for instance — although it probably is possible to form comparative forms of most adjectives: something can be , and someone can have a figure. People who argue that one woman cannot be than another have never been nine-months pregnant with twins.

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According to Bryan Garner, "complete" is one of those adjectives that does admit of comparative degrees. We could say, however, "more complete." I am sure that I have not been consistent in my application of this principle in the Guide (I can hear myself, now, saying something like "less adequate" or "more preferable" or "less fatal"). Other adjectives that Garner would include in this list are as follows:

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Be careful, also, not to use along with a comparative adjective formed with nor to use along with a superlative adjective formed with (e.g., do not write that something is more heavier or most heaviest).