In adjectives there are two main groups:

First Group: adjectives that their 3 grades (base, comparative and superlative) are changed whether regularly (nice > nicer > nicest) or irregularly (good > better > best).

Second group: adjectives that their 3 grades, are changed by adding "more" or "most" (e.g. "more expensive" or "most expensive" rather than expensivier or expensiviest)

Then my question is how these two groups are distinguished terminologically? or in other words what are the terms for each of these two groups?

Based on some research, the terms "synthetic adjectives" (=in the first group) and "analytic adjectives" (in the second group) refer only to the comparative degree rather than to the all 3 grades together (positive, comparative and superlative adjectives) as a group. Isn't it?

  • 3
    The adjectives themselves are not classified this way, since it has nothing to do with them, but rather with how many syllables they have. You could talk of synthetic vs analytic (or morphological vs syntactic, or lexical vs periphrastic) comparatives and superlatives, though,
    – jlawler
    Apr 26 '18 at 3:16
  • They all enter into the system of 'grade' by comparison, the first group marked by inflection, the second marked analytically. So the terms you are looking for are inflectionally gradable for comparison and analytically gradable for comparison.
    – BillJ
    Apr 26 '18 at 17:17

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