- The Comparative
- The Superlative
Just like in English, there are two forms of progression in German: comparative and superlative. We can use them to show superiority, inferiority, or equality. There are different constructions you can use to form each of these.
Rule 1: The comparative is the first form of progression and describes things that are not equal.
It is formed with a simple formula: adjective + er.
Remember that all adjectives, whether used in positive, comparative, or superlative form, need to agree with the noun in gender, number, and case.
Rule 2: Adjectives with one syllable often form the comparative with umlaut (ä,ö,ü), i.e. alt - älter.
Die größere Katze frisst zuerst.
The bigger cat eats first.
Sie ist langsamer als ich.
She is slower than me.
Rule 3: When we want to compare similar traits of people or things, we use:
so + adjective or adverb + wie
Sie läuft so schnell wie er.
She runs as fast as he does.
Ihre Wohnung ist so groß wie die Wohnung ihrer Freundin.
Her apartment is as large as her friend’s apartment.
Rule 4: The superlative describes a maximum form of progression. It is formed with one of the following constructions:
1. a definite article der/die/das + adjective + ste/n/m/r/s
2. am + adjective + sten
Rule 5: Adjectives with one syllable often form the superlative with umlaut.
Die größte Katze frisst zuerst.
The biggest cat eats first.
Er ist am langsamsten.
He is the slowest.