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  1. #1
    RobNik is offline Newbie
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    Default Rules for superlatives

    Hi,

    In a few places I have read that when forming the superlative adjective, words ending in consonant-vowel-consonant get the last consonant doubled. For example: big, biggest; flat, flattest. But here is an example that violates this rule: slow, slowest. So, my question is: does anyone know a better statement of the rule? Is it only certain consonants? Or maybe best to tell students it's simply a rule with some exceptions that they have to learn individually.

    Rob

  2. #2
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Rules for superlatives

    A single consonant letter representing a consonant sound following a single vowel letter is doubled.

    'Slow' is not an exception, in that sounds represented by the letter w are not phonetically consonants. Phoneticians class /w/ as a glide or semi-vowel. It shares some of the characteristics of a consonant; for example, nouns beginning with /w/ follow a, not an. However, there is no consonantal obstruction of the airflow when /w/ is produced. The sound after /sl/ in 'slow' is a diphthong, /əʊ/ in BrE; there is not a trace of a consonant sound..
    Last edited by 5jj; 14-Nov-2011 at 08:27. Reason: punctuation

  3. #3
    RobNik is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Rules for superlatives

    Great answer, thanks.

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