Paradigms: Comparison of Adjectives, Adverbs

*99. Comparison of adjectives is generally straightforward. Just as in PDE -ER and -EST are added to the stem of the adjective (eg. DEAR, DEARER, DEAREST), so in OE -ra and -ost are added to the stem (eg. lēof DEAR, lēofra, lēofost). However, in OE the -ra and -ost forms (known traditionally as 'comparative' and 'superlative') do decline, comparative always in the weak paradigm whether or not preceded by a determiner, superlative in weak or strong paradigms in the same way as the simple adjective.

*100. As in PDE, there are some irregular comparative and superlative forms (compare PDE GOOD, BETTER (vs. *GOODER), BEST (vs. *GOODEST)). The most important are:

eald OLDieldraieldest
geong YOUNGgingragingest
lang LONGlengralengest
strang STRONGstrengrastrengest
hēah HIGHhīerrahīehst
gōd GOODbetera, betra, sēlrabetst, sēlest
yfel EVILwiersawier(re)st
micel BIGmāramǣst
lȳtel LITTLElǣssalǣst

*101. Adverbs.

In general, OE adverbs end in -e or in -līċe, and are indeclinable. For comparative and superlative forms, -or and -ost are added to the stem or -lic-, thus: blīþelīce JOYFULLY, blīþelicor, blīþelicost etc.