The positive as a degree of comparison

(Using the positive of adjectives and adverbs)

Table of contents – positive

On this page you will find the following:

  1. Formation and use of the positive
  2. Further explanations and exercises

How is the positive formed and used?

The comparison of English adjectives and adverbs distinguishes between three different degrees. The first degree is called the positive, which is the base form of the word. Consequently, it maintains its form and merely describes the characteristic of the word referred to without being compared to other adjectives or adverbs. Details:

  • Examples of positive (not compared) forms in sentences:
    • Base forms of adjectives:
      • “Thanks for the good advice you gave me.”
        • Here, no comparison is made; the adjective ‘good’ simply qualifies the noun ‘advice’.
      • “The car is new.”
      • “What a lovely day today.”
    • And some base forms of adverbs:
      • “Tom speaks French, but very slowly.”
        • In this sentence, the adverb ‘slowly’ modifies the verb ‘speaks’.
      • “My teacher says we should do our homework carefully.”
      • “The bride smiles happily.”
  • However, the positive is the form that is employed in comparisons with ‘as … as’:
    • “This glass is not as clean as the other one.”

Information: Regarding the positive, no further particularities exist. The rules for forming adjectives and adverbs need to be followed in general.

Further explanations related to the ‘Positive as a degree of comparison’

The following explanations relate to the topic ‘Positive of adjectives and adverbs in English grammar’ and could be interesting as well: