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It - modifies a noun/ noun equivalent, indicating its qualities:
big, great, interesting, young, old
- has stem building morphemes:
-ful, -less, -ish,--ous, -ive, -ic,
un-, in-, pre-;
careful, endless, foolish, courageous, inventive, historic,
unimportant, indefinite, prewar,
- has no inflections for case, number, gender. The only inflections are for the synthetic comparison
short –shorter – the shortest
is associated with the following parts of speech:
a) noun/noun equivalent:
a beautiful girl, an heir apparent
b) link verbs : to be clever, to grow older
c) adverbs: extremely difficult, very interesting
- is an attribute or a predicative:
a silent man; The man was silent.
Classification of adjectives
A) According to their morphological structure:
I. Adjectives on the morphemic level
simple adjectives :short, big, clever, old,
derived adjectives: beautiful, dangerous
compound adjectives: snow-white
II. Adjectives on the derivational level
simple adjectives: black, great, big, young
derived adjectives: unhappy, beautiful
compound adjectives: duty-bound
B) According to their meaning :
I. Qualitative or descriptive (indicate various qualities): small, large, warm, strong, interesting, beautiful
II. Relative or limiting (express qualities through their relation to some other objects):
1) material: woolen, wooden, earthen
2) place/country: English, Romanian, Italian
3) time :monthly, weekly
Degrees of Comparison
- they are formed in two ways:
1) synthetically – by adding the suffixes:
-er , -est strong, stronger, the strongest
2) analytically - by using the words more, the most
important, more important, the most important
a) monosyllabic adjectives: big, short, dark, great
b) disyllabic adjectives ending in :-y, -er,-ow,-le
happy, happier, the happiest
clever, cleverer, the cleverest
narrow, narrower, the narrowest
simple, simpler, the simplest
BUT proper, more proper, the most proper
eager, more eager, the most eager
c) disyllabic adjectives with stress on the last syllable
complete, completer, the completest
polite, politer, the politest
BUT - foreign adjectives:
antique, bizarre, burlesque
- disyllabic adj. ending in two consonants:
abrupt, content, correct, exact
- adj.with the prefix a-
d) trisyllabic adjectives built with a negative prefix:
unhappy, ignoble, impolite, insecure
all the adjectives which are not included in these groups
- they are required by the addition of the comparison degree suffixes ;
adj. ended in –e get only –r, -st
fine, finer , finest
single consonants are doubled after short stressed vowels
hot, hotter, the hottest
BUT it does not happen when the doubling does not
take place after an unstressed vowel:
tender, tenderer, the tenderest
final –y is changed into –i when preceded by a consonant:
happy, happier, the happiest
Irregular Degrees of Comparison
some adj. have different forms for comparative and superlative
good, better, the best
bad/ill, worse, the worst
many/much, more, the most
little, less, the least
some have double forms for comparative/superlative
far, farther, the farthest (it makes ref.to space)
further, the furthest (it makes ref.to time)
near, nearer, the nearest
the next( the following)
late, later, the latest( the most recent)
latter, the last (nothing comes after it)
old, older, the oldest
elder, the eldest
Use of the Comparative Degree
Comparative of Superiority
- it is expressed by the comparative degree followed by
the conjunction than
She was more frightened than hurt.
BUT adjectives of Latin origin:
superior, inferior, junior, senior etc.
have no other forms for comparative
He was three years junior than me.
Comparative of Equality:
-it is expressed by means of the positive degree placed
between the conjunctions as …as
He is as tall as Peter. Peter is not so tall as Jim.
Comparative of Inferiority:
- it is formed by associating the positive degree of the adjective with less;
John is less handsome than his friend.
Emphasizing the Comparative
by repeating the adjective in the comparative degree
The days are longer and longer.
by using such words as :much better, far more intelligent, still worse, a great deal earlier
She is much better today than she was yesterday.
- it can be used both attributively and predicatively
- it is followed by a prepositional phrase or clause
She was the tallest of the four.
I remember the smallest details of her dress.
Emphasizing the Superlative
by means of the words very, by far,
These are my very earliest impressions.
by means of the words possible, imaginable
Those are the best methods possible.
Position and Order of Attributive Adjectives
it precedes the noun/noun equivalent
a good book
adj. denoting age, color, material, nationality
come next to the noun modified
He preferred the quiet little Belgian city to either
of its more noisy capitals.
if a noun is modified by adjs. among which there are those denoting age, color, material, nationality, size, form, their order is the following:
(1)determinative (2)various (3)age (4)size (5)form
(6) color (7)nationality (8)material (9)noun
a high-backed old green leather chair
a beautiful large white Turkish merino shawl
I. Supply the comparative or superlative form of the adjective:
I. He is (hardworking) student in the class. 2. She is looking for a (big)
car than the one she has now. 3. Jamie
is (good) cook I know. 4. He is much (familiar) with modern architecture than
with modern music. 5. What is (late) news of him? 6. He was able to get (far)
information at the police station. 7. 'The Tempest' is Shakespeare's
(late) play. 8. Her (old) brother is
five years (old) than my husband. 9. The (far) house from the village is Tom’s.
10. He had a word with a (little) personage in the police force. I. The weather
II. Fill in the blanks with the intensifies: much, far, a lot, a good deal, a great deal, for the comparative, and by far, possible, imaginable.
I. In the end he will pay a higher price for it. 2. Practicing sports is more interesting than watching TV. 3. This is the most serious problem facing families this winter. 4. You have found the best solution to my troubles. 5. We had the greatest difficulty getting here in time. 6. Richard is the most talented student in his group.
7. Our old secretary is more experienced than the new one.
8. I think your interviews are better than hers.
III. Supply the right preposition after each adjective:
IV. Choose the adjective which best completes each sentence:
1. (alone/lonely/solitary) Mr Wilder is a old man. She is in the house. The tourist stopped by the well to drink some water.
2. (afraid/frightened) The little girl gave the stranger a look. The were .. of what you might say. 3. (alive/living/live) Several witnesses to the accident are still . Frogs feed chiefly on insects. No creature can do that. 4. (asleep/sleeping) The sight of the children moved him deeply. He was when his parents returned from the meeting
V. Change the
following into compound and derived adjectives:
Example: a girl with green eyes a green-eyed girl
a carpet made by hand - a handmade carpet
a play having success - a successful play
a student who works hard; 2. a man who looks good; 3. a man with a simple mind
4. terms which can be accepted; 5. a story which breaks the heart; 6. a person who is giving help; 7. a driver who is not taking care; 8. a woman with a kind heart; 9. a day with much wind; 10. a tree which is a hundred years old; 11. a blouse with long sleeves; 12. a man who has courage; 13. a gown which is cut well; 14. a man with a red face; 15. a moon red like blood.
the adjectives in brackets in the proper order:
3. You will practice on an (Steinway, expensive, white) piano.4. She greatly admired those (ivory, Chinese, delicate) figurines. 5. That (dark, college, tall) girl is a friend of my brother's. 6. When will you sell your (blue, old) car.7 I was given a (black, leather, small) bag on my birthday.
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