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Understanding an Irregular Adjectives (Definition, Examples, Words)

Irregular adjectives can be confusing since these don’t follow the set rules when their forms are changed. In the following sections, we’ll cover how irregular adjectives work. We’ll also go through some examples of irregular adjectives, to better explain how they are different from regular adjectives.

What are adjectives?

Adjectives are used to modify or describe nouns and pronouns. They explain what shape, color, size, or type a noun is. Adjectives also describe how many nouns there are in a sentence.

  • Example: In the field, there were seven players. They were all experienced cricketers.

In this sentence, the words ‘seven’ and ‘experienced’ are both adjectives.

Comparative and superlative forms

Besides describing nouns/pronouns, adjectives are also used in comparing nouns/pronouns. When two or more nouns/pronouns are compared, there are two forms of adjectives used – comparative form and superlative form. These forms are useful for adding greater meaning to the sentence, and without having to add any unnecessary phrases. When comparing two or more nouns/pronouns, either more/most or the suffixes -er and -est are added.

In the comparative form, the suffix ‘-er’ is added to a simple adjective. It is used to compare two or more things. It indicates that one of the items possesses more of a quality (as described by the adjective). Sometimes, the word ‘more’ may be added to the adjective.

  • Example: She is faster than him. | She is more successful than him.

In the superlative form, either the suffix ‘-est’ or the word ‘most’ is added. This form indicates that a noun/pronoun possesses the greatest amount of some quality (as described by the adjective).

  • Example: She is the tallest girl in the class. | It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

Regular and irregular adjectives

All of the above are examples of regular adjectives. These are adjectives that are formed after adding the suffixes -er or -est, or the words ‘more’ and ‘most’ with a simple adjective.

There are some adjectives though that don’t change their form in the traditional way. This means that they can’t turn into their comparative and superlative forms simply by adding the suffixes -er or -est, or the words ‘more’ and ‘most’. These are known as irregular adjectives. With irregular adjectives, the root word is changed altogether.

Here are some examples of irregular adjectives –

Root wordComparativeSuperlative


1. The woman had many cats. | The woman’s neighbor had more cats. | There was a man who had the most cats in the building.

2. She was feeling ill. | Over the next few days, she started feeling worse. | She felt the worst right before being taken to the hospital.


This hopefully clears any doubts about irregular adjectives. It’s important to remember that irregular adjectives do not follow the simple rules of comparative and superlatives. So, it is best to memorize these adjectives and their comparative and superlative forms.


What are the different forms of adjectives?

Adjectives have the following forms: regular (superlative, and comparative) and irregular.

What is the grammar rule for irregular adjectives?

Irregular adjectives are those words that don’t follow the traditional rules of conversion to comparative and superlative forms. With irregular adjectives, the root word changes entirely.

How do irregular adjectives and superlative adjectives differ?

Regular adjectives follow the grammatical pattern of adding -er/more in the comparative form and -est/most in the superlative form. Remember that all adjectives are used to describe nouns. Because of this, they can get changed from their regular form quite easily. For example bad/worse or “the worst.”

What are the three forms of adjectives?

Regular, comparative, superlative.



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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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