Comparison, in grammar, is a property of adjectives and adverbs in most languages; it describes systems that distinguish the degree to which the modifier modifies its complement.
English, due to the complex etymology of its lexicon, has two parallel systems of comparison. One involves the suffixes -er (the “comparative“) and -est (the “superlative“). These inflections are of Germanic origin, and are cognate with the Latin suffixes –ior and –issimus. They are typically added to shorter words, words of Anglo-Saxon origin, and borrowed words that have been fully assimilated into the English vocabulary. Usually the words that take these inflections have fewer than three syllables. This system contains a number of irregular forms, some of which, like goodbetterbest, contain suppletiveforms. These irregular forms include:
smaller, less(er)
smallest, least
many, much
more and most
The second system of comparison in English appends the grammatical particles more andmost, themselves the irregular comparatives of many, to the adjective or adverb being modified. This series can be compared to a system containing the diminutives less andleast.
This system is most commonly used with words of French or Latin derivation; adjectives and adverbs formed with suffixes other than -ly (e.g. beautiful); and with longer, technical, or infrequently used words. Knowing which words fall into which system is a highly idiomatic issue in English syntax. Some words require the suffixing system: e.g.taller is required; *more tall is not idiomatic English.
Some words (e.g. difficult) require more and most. Some words (e.g. polite) can be used with either system; curiously, while polite can go either way, the derived wordimpolite requires more and most.
The general rule is that words with one syllable require the suffix, words with three or more syllables require more or most and words with two syllables can go either way.
Absolute adjectives
A perennial issue in English usage involves the comparison of so-called “absolute”adjectives, adjectives that logically do not seem to admit of comparison. There are many such adjectives — generally adjectives that name qualities that are either present orabsent: nothing is *”more Cretaceous” or *”more igneous” than anything else.
Other examples include perfectunique, and parallel, which name qualities that are inherently superlative: if something is perfect, there can be nothing better, so it does not make sense to describe one thing as *”more perfect” than something else; if something is unique, it is one of a kind, so something cannot be *”very unique”, or *”more unique” than something else. See also tautology (rhetoric) and pleonasm.
In general, terms like perfect and parallel cannot ever apply exactly to things in real life, so they are commonly used to mean nearly perfectnearly parallel, and so on; and in this (inexact) use, more perfect (i.e., more nearly perfect, closer to perfect) and more parallel (i.e., more nearly parallel, closer to parallel) do seem to make sense.Sumber :
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