Grammar Exercise #12

Superlatives

We usually use the, a possessive form (with -'s), or a possessive pronoun before a superlative adjective or adverb. In informal contexts we sometimes leave out the before an -est or most + adjective superlative after a linking verb, particularly at the end of a sentence:

  • 'Why did you go by bus?' It was (the) cheapest.'
  • Which was (the) most expensive?

However, we can't leave out the when we go on to say what group of things is being compared:

  • 'Why did you buy these oranges?' They were the cheapest ones I could find.' (not They were cheapest ones ...)

When most + adjective / adverb is used without the, most means something like 'very':

  • I checked the form most carefully (= very carefully) but didn't notice the mistake.

Table

Complete the gaps in the model answer using a comparative or superlative form of an adjective.

The chart compares how well students from a range of disciplines did in their first-year assessments in 2010 and 2015.

At just over 70% in 2015 and 60% in 2010, average pass rates among Engineering students were by far , while scores in 2015 were in Architecture and Construction. On the other hand, students studying MBA had pass rates in both years.

Looking more closely at the percentage change between the two years, this was clearly for those studying Education and Training. 2010 pass rates in Education and Training, Travel and Hospitality, and Architecture and Construction were considerably in 2010 than in 2015, which means that level of improvement took place in these disciplines. Meanwhile, the Law experienced pass rates.

Overall, students in 2015 did consistently than their counterparts in 2010, although there were significant differences among the subject areas in both years.

CHECK ANSWERS