This refers to the different levels of comparison made by adjectives and adverbs. There are three degrees, positive, comparative, and superlative.  For example:

The good dog.        (positive; no comparison implied)

The better dog.      (comparative; comparison between two implied)

The best dog.         (superlative; comparison between three or more implied)

Adverbs can also have degree:

She ran fast.

She ran faster.

She ran fastest.

cf. principle 32.


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