Lesson 46 – The Greatest Show on Earth – Comparatives and Superlatives 

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IN YOUR LANGUAGE (Top right > Select language > Click on the flags).


  • The world of cinema
  • Has entertained viewers
  • Arguably
  • Made for projection
  • Since that time
  • Challenges
  • Records have been broken
  • Better technology
  • Cinematic history
  • To invite us
  • To share
  • People’s perceptions
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Military spending
  • Poverty
  • Ordinary people
  • Awareness of these issues
  • To be nominated
  • It shows
  • Stop motion animation
  • Someone making…
  • Guacamole
  • Random objects
  • Salt and pepper dispenser
  • Low-budget
  • Minuscule
  • Is disputed
  • It depicts
  • As a direct result of…
  • It is considered by many…
  • Not entirely
  • Transparent
  • It is speculated…
  • A combination of
  • It is estimated that…
  • Winning
  • Marking its place
  • Has won more


– The Greatest Show On Earth –

Learn English – Lesson 46 – The greatest show on earth

The world of cinema has entertained viewers for nearly 120 years, starting, arguably with the first movie made for projection, Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory in 1895. Since that time challenges have been set and records have been broken. As the desire to tell greater stories moves with better technology we take a look at the best and worst of cinematic history.

One of the longest cinematic films ever made is Resan (The Journey) at 14 ½ hours. In it, the director Peter Watkins, invites us to share in people’s perceptions of nuclear weapons, military spending and poverty. Ordinary people, on several continents, are asked about their awareness of these issues.

The shortest film ever to be nominated for an Academy Award is Fresh Guacamole. Running at one minute and thirty six seconds, it shows a stop motion animation of someone making Guacamole using random objects such as a baseball, which is “diced” and chess pieces as a salt and pepper dispenser.

The Blair Witch Project is one of the most successful low-budget films ever made. The film brought in almost $249 million worldwide from its miniscule $60,000 budget.

Reefer Madness is a 1936 American propaganda film. It depicts accidents, murders, suicide and insanity as a direct result of smoking marijuana. It is considered by many to be the worst movie ever.
It is not entirely transparent as to which film is the most expensive ever made. It is speculated that Avatar has the highest budget at $280 million. Though, the most expensive budget for a combination of films goes to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End at $450 million, it is estimated that $300 million was spent on At World’s End.

In 1959 Ben Hur set the highest record by winning the most Academy Awards, marking its place in cinematic history with 11 Oscars. No film has won more, however both Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King have won as many as Ben Hur.


Interactive Video Comprehension Quiz 1

Summary Statements Comprehension Quiz 2

Drag and Drop Quiz 3: 


When we want to make comparisons, we often need superlative or comparative adjectives. Comparative adjectives are used when there are two subjects and superlative adjectives when there are two or more subjects.

Comparative adjectives

Comparative adjectives are formed using a possible form between two. You can add er to the end of the adjective or you can use more or less before it. Only one of these forms can be used in each phrase.

Steve was stronger that Carl.

Carl was less strong than Steven.

  • We often add er to one-syllable words:

The streets in New York are wider than in Barcelona.

This car is faster than my old one.

  • With two syllable words, the forms vary:

It is sunnier in the summer than in the winter.

It is less sunny in the winter than in the summer.

  • Adjectives with three or more syllables use more or less:

The second film was more enjoyable than the first one.

The internet signal is less powerful in this room.

It is never said: « Carl was less stronger than Steven. » This would be terrible in grammar!

Superlative adjectives

The superlative adjective is used to describe the extreme quality of a thing in a group of things. Superlative adjectives can also be formed in two ways: both with -est at the end of the adjective, or most or least before. Usually we add the to at the beginning.

  • The monosyllabic words usually have -est at the end:

Steven is the brightest student in the class.

Gone with the Wind is one of the longest films ever made.

  • The bisyllabic words vary in form:

 It was the scariest film I had ever seen.

Sarah was more nervous than Jess about the exam.

  • most or least are used with adjectives of three or more syllables:

 It was the most important exam she would ever sit.

It was the least nutritious meal he had had.

Clues and tips:

  • If the adjective ends in -e, we add -st to the end.

 Fine → Finest

  • If the adjective ends in a consonant + vowel + consonant, we double the last consonant and add -est.

Big → Biggest

  • If the adjective ends in -y, we change the y in i to add -est in the end.

 Lazy → Laziest

  • The following adjectives have irregular forms:

Good → The best

Worse → The worst

Far → The farthest/furthest


  • Related Pronunciation Video Lesson and interactive exercise(s):


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