1) Insufficient Funds
2) Vocabulary Box
3) Grammar Spot: Comparison of Adjectives
A young college co-ed came running in tears to her father. “Dad, you gave me some terrible financial advice!”
“I did? What did I tell you?” said the dad.
“You told me to put my money in that big bank, and now that big bank is in trouble.”
“What are you talking about? That’s one of the largest banks in the state,” he said. “There must be some mistake.”
“I don’t think so,” she sniffed. “They just returned one of my checks with a note saying, ‘Insufficient Funds’.”
Let’s explain some of the words in today’s joke!
– Co-ed is a female student in a college with male and female students.
– To sniff means to speak in an unpleasant way, showing that you have a low opinion of something.
Comparison of Adjectives
We often compare or contrast things with others. Two people or things can possess some quality in the same degree (equality), or in different degrees (superiority or inferiority). We can also state the supremacy of one person or thing over others.
Every time we compare things or people, we use adjectives with different degrees of omparison. In English, there are three degrees of comparison: positive degree, comparative degree, and superlative degree.
In today’s lesson, we will study how these degrees are formed.
The positive degree is not really a degree of comparison because no comparison is indicated when the positive degree is used. The positive degree is the simple form of the adjective.
Examples: hot, cold, careful, funny, silly.
The comparative degree of the adjective is used when a comparison is made between two persons or things. The comparative degree shows that one of the two people or things that are being compared possesses some quality to a greater or to a lesser degree than the other.
The comparative is formed:
– by adding ‘-er’ to the positive:
clear – clearer
sweet – sweeter
pretty – prettier
simple – simpler
This rule applies to one-syllable adjectives, two-syllable adjectives that end in ‘y’, ‘er’, ‘ow’, le (e.g. pretty, simple, narrow, clever) or have the stress on the last syllable (e.g. polite).
– by using ‘more’ with the positive:
beautiful – more beautiful
interesting – more interesting
hopeful – more hopeful
fertile – more fertile
As you can see from the above examples, adjectives of two or more syllables are usually compared by using ‘more’ with the simple form of the adjective.
The superlative degree of the adjective is used when more than two people or things are compared. The superlative degree indicates that the quality is possessed to the greatest or to the least degree by one of the persons or things included in the comparison.
The superlative is formed:
– by adding ‘-est’ to the positive:
clear – clearest
sweet – sweetest
pretty – prettiest
simple – simplest
This rule is followed by one-syllable adjectives, two-syllable adjectives that end in ‘y’, ‘er’, ‘ow’, ‘le’ (e.g. pretty, simple, narrow, clever) or have he stress on the last syllable (e.g. polite).
– by using ‘most’ with the positive:
beautiful – most beautiful
interesting – most interesting
hopeful – most hopeful
fertile – most fertile
This method is used with adjectives of two or more syllables.
In the end, I would like to point out some spelling changes undergone by adjectives adding ‘-er’ and ‘-est’.
– adjectives ending in ‘y’ preceded by a consonant, change the ‘y’ to ‘i’
happy – happier – happiest
silly – sillier – silliest
dirty – dirtier – dirtiest
– one syllable adjectives with the spelling consonant + single vowel+ consonant double the final consonant
fat – fatter – fattest
big – bigger – biggest
sad – sadder – saddest
– adjectives ending in silent ‘e’ drop the ‘e’ and add ‘-er’ and ‘-est’
ripe – riper – ripest
large – larger – largest
fine – finer – finest
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That was all for today. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and learnt
new useful things. Till next time, take care.
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