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Good, Better, Best: Irregular Comparatives in Spanish

Spanish has a couple of adjectives and adverbs that are exceptions when it comes to forming the comparative and superlative.

As adjectives, bueno (good), malo (bad), grande (big), and pequeño (small) have irregular forms in the comparative and superlative. Note that grande and pequeño each have two different meanings in their comparative and superlative forms.

Irregular Adjectives in the Comparative and Superlative
Adjective Comparative Superlative
bueno (buena) (good)
buenos (buenas)
mejor (better)
mejores
el/la mejor (the best)
los/las mejores
malo (mala) (bad)
malos (malas)
peor (worse)
peores
el/la peor (the worst)
los/las peores
grande (great, big) mayor (older, greater in age or status)
más/menos grande (larger/less large in size)
el/la mayor (the oldest, greatest)
el más/menos grande (the largest/least large)
pequeño (pequeña) (small)
pequeños (pequeñas)
menor (minor, lesser, younger in age or status)
más/menos pequeño/pequeña (smaller/less small in size)
más/menos pequeños/pequeñas
el/la menor (the least, the youngest)
el/la más/menos pequeño/pequeña (the smallest/least small])
los/las más/menos pequeños/pequeñas

The adverbs bien (well) and mal (poorly) become mejor (better) and peor (worse), respectively, in their comparative forms and follow the verb or verb phrase they modify:

  • Tomás juega al fútbol mejor que Javier. (Thomas plays soccer better than Javier.)

  • Ella cocina peor que yo. (She cooks worse than I do.)

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