Interchange of degrees of comparison
We can change the degree of comparison without altering the meaning of a sentence.
Consider the sentence given below.
A dog is more faithful than a cat.
In this sentence we make a comparison between a dog and a cat using the comparative adjective more faithful. We can express the same idea using a positive adjective.
A cat is not as faithful as a dog.
Note that it is not possible to transform every degree into every other degree.
For example, the sentence ‘A dog is more faithful than a cat’ cannot be transformed into the superlative degree because superlative degree requires more than two persons or objects for comparison.
Now consider the following sentence.
Bombay is the best sea-port city in India.
This sentence uses an adjective in the superlative degree. We can rewrite it using the other two degrees – positive and comparative.
No other sea-port in India is as good as Bombay.
Here we make a comparison using the positive adjective good. Comparisons using the positive adjective are made using the structure as…as.
Bombay is better than any other sea-port in India.
Here we make a comparison using the comparative adjective better.
Another example is given below.
There are few countries as large as China. (Comparison using the positive adjective large)
China is larger than most other countries. (Comparison using the comparative adjective larger. Note the use of ‘most other’ in this sentence.)
China is one of the largest countries in the world. (Comparison using the superlative adjective largest.)