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Degrees of Adjectives

The degrees of comparison are known as the positive, the comparative, and the superlative. (Actually, only the comparative and superlative show degrees.) We use the comparative for comparing two things and the superlative for comparing three or more things. Notice that the word than frequently accompanies the comparative and the word the precedes the superlative. The inflected suffixes -er and -est suffice to form most comparatives and superlatives, although we need -ier and -iest when a two-syllable adjective ends in y (happier and happiest); otherwise we use more and most when an adjective has more than one syllable.

Positive - Comparative - Superlative
rich - richer - richest
lovely - lovelier - l oveliest
beautiful - more beautiful - most beautiful

Irregular Forms
Positive - Comparative - Superlative
good - better - best
bad - worse - worst
little - less - least
many - more - most
far - further - furthest

According to Bryan Garner, "complete" is one of those adjectives that does not admit of comparative degrees. We could say, however, "more nearly complete." I am sure that I have not been consistent in my application of this principle in the Guide (I can hear myself, now, saying something like "less adequate" or "more preferable" or "less fatal"). Other adjectives that Garner would include in this list are as follows:
absolute, impossible, principal, adequate, inevitable, stationary, chief, irrevocable, sufficient, complete, main, unanimous, devoid, manifest, unavoidable, entire, minor, unbroken, fatal, paramount, unique, final, perpetual, universal, ideal, preferable, whole