Comparatives and superlatives

دوره: گرامر انگلیسی در شش دقیقه / درس 43

گرامر انگلیسی در شش دقیقه

60 درس

Comparatives and superlatives

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Catherine had a terrible journey to work this morning. But its a useful way to help us understand comparatives and superlatives. Find out why in this episode of 6 Minute Grammar.

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Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Finn.

Catherine And me, Catherine. Hello.

Today we’re talking about comparatives and superlatives. So, let’s start with comparatives. We use them to compare one thing or person with another. Catherine, how was your journey to work this morning?

Ok. Well, my journey to work wasn’t great, actually. I woke up later than usual, so I took the bus because it’s quicker than walking. And it’s easier than cycling, too. But the traffic was much busier than normal and we went slower and slower and people became more and more impatient. And the slower the bus went, the more impatient the people became.

Finn You poor thing. But, lots of comparatives there in your story - we had later and quicker : Catherine woke up later than usual, and she said the bus is quicker than walking.

Catherine I did. And to make the comparative form of short adjectives or adverbs, we just add the letters - e-r . So, quick , quicker . But if the word already ends in -e , we just add the letter -r . Late , later .

Finn Remember that we often use the word than in comparative sentences, but sometimes we can leave it out, for example in the question Which is quicker - the bus or the train?

Catherine I also said that the bus is easier than cycling and the traffic was much busier than normal . For adjectives and adverbs that end in the letter -y and the sound ee , make comparatives by losing the letter -y and adding the letters -i-e-r . So the comparative of easy is easier .

Finn And busy becomes busier . In fact, Catherine said the traffic was much busier. Now, we can use much or a lot before an adjective or adverb to emphasise the difference. Much busier; a lot easier .

Catherine To make comparative forms of most adjectives and adverbs with two or more syllables, we use more .

Finn For example, impatient has three syllables: im-pa-tient , so the comparative of impatient is more impatient .

Catherine That’s right and to emphasise how something changes, we can repeat comparatives, or the word more with and in the middle, like this:

The bus went slower and slower and people became more and more impatient .

Catherine Don’t remind me. Here’s another way to use comparatives. Listen to this sentence: the slower the bus went, the more impatient the people became .

Finn I’m not surprised. Here Catherine used two different comparatives - slower and more impatient - with the , to say how one thing changes when something else changes. The slower the bus went , the more impatient the people became . Really not a good morning, was it, Catherine?

Catherine Not at all. And it got worse when the bus broke down!

Finn Oh really? Oh no, but perfect for us because worse is the comparative adjective of bad. It is irregular. The comparative adverb is badly . Catherine ‘s morning went badly .

Catherine Very badly. And the comparative of both good and well is also irregular: it’s better .

IDENT 6 Minute Grammar from the BBC.

Catherine And we’re talking about comparatives and superlatives.

Finn Let’s look at superlative adjectives and adverbs. They help us compare one person or thing with several others. So Catherine, what is the quickest way for you to get to work?

Catherine Well, usually the bus is the quickest , but not today. But walking is the most reliable way and it ‘s also the easiest .

Finn OK, we make superlatives in a similar way to comparatives…

Catherine … but the ending for short words is -e-s-t .

Finn So quick becomes the quickest …

Catherine … and we use most for words with two or more syllables.

Finn So the superlative of reliable is the most reliable .

Catherine That’s right. For two-syllable words ending in the letter -y, change the y to i and add -e-s-t , so easy becomes the easiest .

Finn Don’t forget to put the before a superlative adjective or adverb, so it’s: walking is the best way to get to work …

Catherine … though we can use possessive adjectives instead of the word the , like this:

Finn My best friend is getting married today.

Catherine And did you spot the irregular superlative - best ? This is the superlative form of good and well .

Finn … and the irregular superlative of bad is worst .

Catherine Now for the quiz. Which is correct? a) Your internet connection is faster than mine or b) Your internet connection is fastest than mine.

Finn It’s a).

Catherine Good. And the last one, a) I hope I have a better journey home tonight or b) I hope I have a best journey home tonight.

Finn Well, it’s a). And we do hope you have a much better journey home tonight, Catherine.

Catherine Thank you.

Finn There’s lots more about this on our website at Join us again soon for more 6 Minute Grammar.

Both Bye.

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