Degree modifiers with comparatives and superlatives
Adjectives and adverbs in their comparative and superlative degrees can be modified by certain words and phrases that intensify their degree. Common modifiers used with comparative and superlative adjectives are: much, far, very much, a lot, lots, any, no, rather, little, a bit and even.
Note that the modifier very cannot be used with comparatives.
- She is much older than her husband. (NOT She is very older than her husband.)
- She is far more dependable than her brother.
- I’m a whole lot happier now.
- She is no better than him.
- I would buy that watch if it was a little less expensive.
- She looks no older than her daughter.
- Her performance was even worse than her co-star’s.
- She would have finished that job rather more quickly.
- She is a lot less careful than her sister.
- Their attitude was a little less enthusiastic.
Note that when more modifies a plural noun, it is modified by many instead of much.
- If you have a degree, you will find many more opportunities.
- She makes much more money than her husband.
To modify superlatives, we can use words and expressions like much, by far, quite, almost, practically, nearly, easily etc.
- She is much the most intelligent of them all.
- She’s by far the most talented.
- She’s quite the most amazing person I’ve ever met.
- This is easily the worst film I’ve seen in a long time.