DEGREES OF COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES

· Adjectives are words expressing properties of objects and qualifying nouns. Adjectives in English do not have number or case. The only grammatical category they have is the degrees of comparison. But only qualitative adjectives (e.g. big, nice, interesting, far, happy) can form the degrees of comparison, relative adjectives (e. g. wooden, woolen, English, summer, perfect, unique) can’t form the degrees of comparison.

 

· There are three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative and superlative.

 

- The positive is the plain stem of an adjective (e. g. heavy, slow, pretty).

- The comparative degree is used when two objects, phenomena, actions or persons are compared or contrasted (e. g, more experienced, nicer, larger).

- The superlative degree is used when an object, phenomenon, action or a person is compared or contrasted with more than two objects (e. g. most significant, proudest, greatest).

 

· There are two methods of forming the comparative and superlative degrees:

1. by adding the suffixes - er (the comparative degree), - est (the superlative degree)

2. by using more (the comparative degree) and most (the superlative degree) before the adjective.

 

1. The first method is used for:

a) monosyllabic adjectives,

e. g. new – newer – newest, bright – brighter - brightest

b) disyllabic adjectives ending in - er, - ow, - y, - le,

e. g. clever - cleverer - cleverest, narrow - narrower - narrowest; happy – happier - happiest; simple simpler - simplest

c) disyllabic adjectives with the stress on the second syllable,

e. g. polite - politer - politest

d) a few disyllabic adjectives

e. g. common - commoner - commonest; pleasant – pleasanter - pleasantest; quiet - quieter - quietest, handsome – handsomer - handsomest

        

· The following spelling rules should be observed In forming the comparative and the superlative with the help of the suffixes:

 

a) adjectives ending in -y preceded by a consonant, change -y into -ier and -iest,

e. g. heavy - heavier - heaviest, crazy - crazier - craziest

 

But the adjective ending in - y preceded by a vowel remains unchanged,

e. g. coy - coyer - coyest

 

b) monosyllabic adjectives with a short vowel double their final consonants,

e. g. big - bigger - biggest; thin - thinner - thinnest

 

But monosyllabic adjectives ending in a double consonant remain unchanged,

 e.g. thick - thicker - thickest; fresh - fresher - freshest

 

c) adjectives with a mute - e at the end add only – r, - st

e. g. pale - paler - palest; fine - finer - finest

 

2. The second method is used for:

a) most disyllabic adjectives,

e. g. careful - more careful - most careful; private - more private - most private

b) adjectives of more than two syllables,

e. g. beautiful - more beautiful - most beautiful; romantic - more romantic - most romantic

c) adjectives formed from participles and - ing -forms,

e. g. tired - more tired - most tired; interesting - more interesting - the most interesting

d) adjectives used only predicatively (the superlative degree is hardly ever used here),

e. g. afraid - more afraid; aware - more aware

 

· A few adjectives have irregular forms of degrees of comparison. They are:

-   good - better - best

-   bad - worse - worst

-   far - farther - farthest (for distance)/further - furthest (for time and distance)

-   near - nearer - nearest (for distance)/next (for order)

-   late - later - latest (for time)/latter (the last mentioned (then the first will be former)) - last (for order)

-   old - older - oldest (for age)/elder - eldest (for seniority in the family; used only attributively)

-   many / much - more - most

-   little - less - least; lesser (not so great, used in fixed phrases c. g. lesser evil)

 

· There are some sentence patterns which express comparison:

a) comparison of equality (as ...as, the same ...as, twice as ...as)

e. g. The boy was twice as sly as a monkey. After his bath, the inspector was as fresh as a fish. She gets the same salary as mine.

b) comparison of inequality (not so ...as, not as ...as)

e. g. The sun is not so hot today as I thought it would be.

c) comparison of superiority (...- er than, ...- est of/in/ever, much/far/a great deal/a lot/a bit/a little ...- er (than))

e. g. He looked younger than his years. She was the proudest of women. To my mind the most interesting in art is the personality of the artist. It’s the biggest risk I’ve ever had to take. The book is much more interesting than that one. Could you speak a bit more slowly? This book is far better than mine.

d) comparison of inferiority (less ...than)

e. g. John is less musical than his sister.

e) comparison of parallel increase or decrease (the - er the, - er)

e. g. The sooner, the better.

 

· There are some set phrases which contain the comparative or the superlative degree of an adjective:

-   a change for the better (for the worse) - перемена к лучшему, к худшему

-   none the less - тем не менее

-   so much the better (the worse) - тем лучше, тем хуже

-   no (none the) worse for - хуже не станет

-   if the worst comes to the worst - в худшем случае

-   to go from bad to worse - становиться все хуже и хуже

-   as best - в полную меру старания, как только можно

-   at (the) best - в лучшем случае

 

· There are a lot of similes in English that contain the comparative degree:

As good as gold As sly as a fox (a monkey) As brave as a lion         As silent as a grave As old as the hills         As dark as a night As hungry as a hunter   As black as coals As strong as an oak (a horse) As soft as silk As white as snow As round as apples As frank as day As fresh as a daisy (a fish) As quiet as a mouse  As meek as a lamb As pale as a ghost         As red as roses As fit as a fiddle  As deep as lakes As fat as a pig     As easy as ABC As round as a barrel As free as a bird As thin as a pole As cool as a cucumber As clever as a bagful of monkeys As pretty as a picture

 

EXERCISES

 

Дата: 2019-02-25, просмотров: 194.