Учебно-методическая разработка по грамматике английского языка для студентов 3 курса

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С.А. Макаров Учебно-методическая разработка

по грамматике английского языка для студентов 3 курса





For the academics: The difference between theory and practice in practice is greater than the difference between practice and theory in theory.


MORPHOLOGY (ACCIDENCE)
MORPHOLOGY is a part of grammar which treats of the parts of speech.
PARTS OF SPEECH (traditional approach)


Notional

(They can perform independent functions in the sentence.)



  1. Noun

  2. Adjective

  3. Stative (Category of State)

  4. Pronoun

  5. Numeral

  6. Verb

  7. Adverb

Structural

(They never perform any independent functions in the sentence but express relations between its parts or emphasize their meaning.)



  1. Preposition

  2. Conjunction

  3. Article

  4. Particle




  1. Modal Word

  2. Interjection

  3. Words of Affirmation and Negation

(They do not enter into the structure of the sentence.)


Ex. 1. Define what parts of speech these words are. Some may be more than one.

Talkathon, olfactory, laze, telltale, spelunker, zany, throughout, swagger, however, gesundheit, ill, jest, in, parallelepiped, ouch, far, fee-faw-fum, mistake, cagey, iffy, hex, boo, bamboozle, ablaze, bootlick, aviary, dozenth, herbivore, googol, like, miaow, maybe, je ne sais quoi, nope, Japanese, so–and-so, oops.


THE NOUN

The NOUN is a word expressing substance in the widest sense: (individuals: a student; objects: a pencil, a synchrophasotron; qualities: stupidity, laziness; processes: conversation, arrival; abstract notions: time, love).






  1. SYNTACICAL FUNCTIONS: Subject, Object, Predicative, Attribute, Adverbial Modifiers.

  2. MORPHOLOGICAL CATEGORIES: Number, Case, (Gender?)

  3. MORPHOLOGICAL COMPOSITION

SIMPLE

(one root)

ocean, penguin, cat, abracadabra

DERIVATIVE

(prefixes and suffixes)

reader, childhood

COMPOUND

(more than one stem)

blackbird, snowball




NOUN




COMMON

(denotes any object of a class)

PROPER

(distinguishes an object from other ones of the same class)

e.g. John, Scotland, Kiribati








CONCRETE

(something tangible)



ABSTRACT

(ideas, actions, processes, qualities)



LIVING BEINGS

INANIMATE OBJECTS






CLASS NOUNS

(people or things belonging to a class)

e.g. a student, a book


MATERIALS

e.g. water, copper



COLLECTIVE NOUNS

(a number of similar things or people as a unit) e.g. a crowd



Ex. 1. Define the class these nouns belong to:

Ndjamena, chimera, chihuahua, Chihuahua, machinery, alkali, malignancy, nightmare, mob, slalom, disqualification, umiak, dromedary, tinware, obsession, umpire, vacuum, Japanese, squad, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, harmony, Pluto, sloth, fallacy, ululation, pep, goo.

THE CATEGORY OF NUMBER
General Rules of Formation of the Plural


  1. -s [s] - after voiceless consonants. (e.g. cats)

[z] - after voiced consonants and vowels (e.g. dogs, bees)

  1. -es [iz] - after sibilants: -s, -z, -x, -sh, -ch. (e.g. boxes)


Peculiarities

  1. After the final letter -o:

-s a) in proper names (e.g. Romeo - Romeos, Carlo - Carlos)

  1. if -o is preceded by a vowel (e.g. kangaroos, radios, zoos)

  2. in compounds with no noun stem (e.g. lean-tos, hair-dos)

  3. in abbreviations (e.g. kilos, photos, typos)

  4. in most borrowed words (e.g. pianos, tangos, solos)


-es in other words (e.g. tomatoes, potatoes, echoes, Negroes, heroes)
-s and -es in several words (e.g. archipelago(e)s, banjo(e)s, buffalo(e)s, cargo(e)s, commando(e)s, flamingo(e)s, halo(e)s, motto(e)s, tornado(e)s, volcano(e)s, mosquito(e)s, virago(e)s, portico(e)s, manifesto(e)s


  1. After the final letter -y:

-s a) in proper names (e.g. Tony - Tonys, Kennedy - Kennedys,

Germany - Germanys)



  1. if -y is preceded by a vowel (e.g. days, monkeys)

  2. in compounds with no noun stem (e.g. stand-bys)


-ies in other words (e.g. duties, spies, skies)

(Note: After the suffix -quy -y is changed into -ie-, though preceded by a vowel (e.g. soliloquy - soliloquies, colloquy - colloquies)




  1. The final cluster th []:

  1. [z] after long vowels and diphthongs (e.g. mouths, paths, booths)
  2. [s] after consonants and short vowels (e.g. lengths, births, cloths)


  3. [z] and [s] in several words (e.g. baths, oaths, truths, wreaths, youths)




  1. After final -f, -fe:

  1. -ves (lives, wives, knives, calves, halves, elves, shelves, selves, leaves, sheaves, thieves, loaves, wolves)

  2. -fs or -ves (handkerchiefs (-ves), scarfs (-ves), dwarfs (the form "dwarves" is only used in Tolkien's books), hoofs (-ves), wharfs (-ves), beefs (-ves) (depending on the meaning))

  3. -fs all other words (e.g. proofs, chiefs, safes, cliffs, gulfs, reefs, griefs, beliefs, roofs, muffs, still lifes)


Irregular Plurals

  1. -en (e.g. oxen, children, brother - brethren)

  2. Root-vowel interchange (mutation)

foot - feet

tooth - teeth

goose [gu:s] - geese [gi:s]

cow - kine (poetic)



man - men

woman - women

mouse - mice

dormouse - dormice

louse - lice


Note: Gooses (=irons, or silly people), mouses (=computer devices), louses (=worthless people)

Abbreviations

e.g. MP (Member of Parliament) - MPs ['em'pi:z]

MD (Doctor of Medicine) - MDs ['em'di:z]

Co. (company) - Co.s [kouz]

Mr (Mister) - Messrs ['mesəz]

Mrs - Mmes

Note: In the phrase like "Miss Brown" two different forms are used for the plural. We may either say "the Miss Browns" or "the Misses Brown", the latter being generally considered more correct.

Foreign Plurals


  1. Latin

  1. -us [əs] - -i [ai]

e.g. nucleus - nuclei

stimulus - stimuli

radius - radii


  1. -us [əs] - -ora [ərə] , -era [ərə]

e.g. genus - genera

corpus - corpora



  1. -a [ə] - -ae [-i:]

e.g. antenna - antennae

formula - formulae

amoeba - amoebae


  1. -um [əm] - -a [ə]

e.g. datum - data

stratum - strata



  1. -ex, -ix [-iks] - -ices [-isi:z]

e.g. index – indices

appendix – appendices

Note: Most words of the Latin origin may have two plural forms: Latin and English, as in formula – formulae, formulas.
2. Greek


  1. -is [is] - -es [i:z]

e.g. basis ['beisis] – bases ['beisi:z]

ellipsis – ellipses

crisis – crises

axis – axes



  1. -on [ən] - -a [ə]

e.g. criterion – criteria

phenomenon – phenomena



  1. -a [ə] - -ata [ətə]

e.g. dogma – dogmata

stigma – stigmata




  1. French

  1. -eau, -eu [ou] - -eaux [ouz]

-eaus [ouz]

e.g. tableau – tableaux, tableaus

bureau – bureaux, bureaus

adieu—adieux, adieus

b) -s [-] - -s [z]

e.g. corps [ko:] – corps [ko:z]

pas [pa:] – pas [pa:z]

chamois ['∫æmwa:] -- chamois ['∫æmwa:z]

chassis ['∫a:si] – chassis ['va:siz]

précis ['preisi:]/[prei'si:] – précis ['preisi:z]/[prei'si:z]



  1. monsieur [mə'sjə:] – messieurs [mə'sjə:z]

madam ['mædəm] – mesdames [mei'da:m]

mademoiselle [mædəm(w) ə'zel] – mademoiselle [meidmwa:'zel]




  1. Italian

  1. -o [ou] - -i [i:]

e.g. tempo – tempi

virtuoso – virtuosi



  1. -a [ə] - -e [ei] ([i])

e.g. ['liərə] – lire ['liərei]


  1. Hebrew

seraph – seraphs, seraphim (שׂרף – שׂרפים)

cherub – cherubs, cherubim (בורכ – םיבורכ)

kibbutz – kibbutzim (צוביק – םיצוביק)


  1. Arabic

fellah (Egyptian peasant) – fellahs, fellaheen, fellahin

(فلاح‎ – فلاحون)

jinnee – jinn

(جني – جن)




  1. Portuguese

auto-da-fé ['o:təu da:'fei] -- autos-da-fé ['o:təuz da:'fei]


  1. Japanese

samurai – samurai(s)

haiku – haiku 俳句



but: kimono – kimonos 着物



ninja – ninja(s) 忍者
Unchanged Plurals

The following nouns have the same form in the Singular and in the Plural:



  1. sheep, deer, swine, grouse "шотландская куропатка"

  2. various kinds of fish: fish, pike, trout, cod, perch, salmon [sæ:mən], etc. (e.g. a few trout, seven salmon)

  3. species ['spi:∫iz] "разновидность", series ['siəri:z], craft "судно", means "средство", crossroads.

  4. names of nationalities or local groups ending in -ese, -ss, -x: Japanese, Vietnamese, Myanmarese, Swiss, Manx "житель острова Мэн", etc. (e.g. thirteen Congolese)

  5. the words sort, kind, manner in the expression: these sort(s) of things

  6. such nouns of quantity as pair, couple, dozen, score, head (of cattle) if preceded by numerals (e.g. three dozen students)

Note: Sportsmen (big-game hunters, anglers, and others) tend to use the singular for the plural - lion for lions, antelope for antelopes, etc., etc. – and to look with scorn upon those who speak of lions and antelopes. The ordinary people, unacquainted with the jargon of these very superior specialists, should not allow themselves to be intimidated by the snobs of sport. If you wish to shoot three lions or to hunt tigers, do so.

Nouns with Identical Singulars but Different Plurals

(Double Plurals)
brother brothers sons of the same parents

brethren members of the same society


genius geniuses men of genius

genii [dži:niai] fabulous spirits of the air


penny pence the amount of pennies in value

pennies more than one penny coin


staff staffs military headquarters, workers and employee

staves sticks, supports

die dies stamps for coining

dice small cubes used in games


shot shots discharges

shot little balls discharged from a shotgun


cloth cloths kinds of cloth

clothes articles of dress


index indexes tables of contents

indices in mathematics


antenna antennas in electronics

antennae in biology


beef beeves full-grown bulls raised for meet

beefs complaints


The Plural of Compound Nouns
1. If in a compound noun there is only one noun stem, put that noun in the plural: e.g. a passer-by -- passers-by

a looker-on – lookers-on

an Englishman – Englishmen

(Note: Such words as "Norman, Roman, German" have the plurals "Normans, Romans, Germans", since they are not compounds.)



  1. If in a compound noun there is no noun stem, add the suffix -s to its end: e.g. a forget-me-not – forget-me-nots

a hold-all "хозяйственная сумка" – hold-alls

a stand-by – stand-bys

a hair-do – hair-dos


  1. If in a compound noun there are more than one noun stems, put the head stem in the plural

e.g. a story-teller – story-tellers

a man-of-war – men-of-war

an editor-in-chief – editors-in-chief

a brother-in-law – brothers-in-law

But: a son-of-a-bitch – sons-of-bitches, son-of-bitches


  1. In some compound nouns both noun stems may be changed

e.g. a woman doctor – women doctors

a lord-justice "судья апелляционного суда" – lords-justices

a gentleman-farmer – gentlemen-farmers


  1. Some compound nouns have two plural forms: e.g. an attorney-general "министр юстиции" – attorneys-general, attorney-generals.

a court-martial – courts-martial, court-martials

a cousin-german – cousins-german, cousin-germans

mouthful – mouthfuls, mouthsful, mouths full

spoonful – spoonfuls, spoonsful, spoons full



  1. One must be especially careful about French compound words. They are numerous and their pronunciation is hard to predict. Sometimes it can depend on the dictionary the word is registered in.

e.g. a) aide-de-camp [eiddə'ka:n] – aides-de-camp (same pronunciation)

coup d'état [ku: dei'ta:] – coups d'état (same pronunciation)

chef d'oevre [∫ei'dəvre] -- chefs d'oevre (same pronunciation)


  1. nouveau riche [nu:vəu 'ri:∫] – nouveaux riches (same pronunciation)

enfant terrible [onfante'ri:ble] – enfants terribles (same pronunciation)

filet mignon [fi'lei min'jon] – filets mignons (same pronunciation)



c) hors d'oevre [o:'dəv] – hors d'oevres (same pronunciation)
EXERCISES

Ex. 1. Write a short story using as many irregular, double, foreign and other peculiar plurals as possible.
Ex. 2. Write the plural forms of the following nouns. Find their meaning and pronunciation in a dictionary.
  1. soliloquy, virago, hobo, hoodoo, tsetse fly, hindoo, saguaro, come-and-go, voodoo, goody-goody, Negrito, slo-mo, zero, gado-gado, koodoo, whisky, whiskey, shampoo, grand piano, shako, dingo, jumbo, Mumbo-Jumbo, rodeo, Bobby, bobby, guanaco, jackaroo, wallaby, tango, trio, taboo, piccolo, mango, innuendo, folio, tyro, tuxedo, carabao, cariboo, goody, butterfly, creepy-crawly, Louis-Alberto, quid pro quo, so-and-so, flyby, mho, de facto


  2. beef, giraffe, stuff, goof, grief, staff, sheaf, fife, chef, mastiff, fishwife, werewolf.

  3. goose, mongoose, VIP, VUP, grouse, titmouse, DC-10, scythe, by-path, moth, Mr, crowfoot, snipe, Burmese, reindeer, beluga, per cent, bream, mammoth, gnu, turbot, roach, starfish, aircraft, Tyrolese, Singhalese, boa constrictor

  4. hobby-horse, grab-all, harum-scarum, hokey-pokey, hocus-pocus, man-at-arms, corn-stalk, will-o'-the-wisp, knight-errant, Knight Templar, secretary bird, go-between, husband-to-be, stick-in-the-mud, cat-o'-mountain, prince consort, ghost writer, what-for, tam-o'-shanter, whipper-snapper, hold-up, cat-o'-nine-tails, grant-in-aid, good-for-nothing, killjoy, runner-up, what-not, hanger-on, jack-o'-lantern, lady bug, whip-poor-will, passenger pigeon, lay-by, poet laureate, goody-two-shoes, dry-fly, wood-louse, duck-bill, spoonbill, teaspoonful, dragon-fly, kilowatt-hour, jack-in-the-box, cul-de-sac, might-have-been, middle-of-the-roader, cha-cha-cha

  5. hodman, Whatman, doberman, Irishman, desman, Mussulman, talesman, talisman, shaman, foreman, rag-and-bone-man, brahman, caiman, goodman, human, ottoman, Ottoman, woodman, walkman, sandwichman, G-man, ombudsman, dragoman, madwoman
  6. oxymoron, nautilus, waribashi, auto-da-fé, delirium, bacillus, amoeba, kohlrabi, tarantula, flambeau, patois, samurai, lira, fellah, automaton, anthropofagus, dilettante, bon-mot, hypnosis, eucaliptus, alga, oasis, apex, medium, maestro, kibbutz, rendez-vous, elytron, terminus, intermezzo, bacterium, tempo, focus, vortex, fait accompli, cicerone, echinus, acropolis, bisectrix, gladiolus, aphis, aquarium, chela, possum, concetto, drachma, femme fatale, jinnee, jus, magus, Nemesis, medusa, metamorphosis, miasma, minimus, octopus, portmanteau, Sioux, soldo, sphinx, toga, vox, curriculum vitae, arc-boutant, locus classicus, obiter dictum, billet-doux, nebula, diagnosis, neurosis, psychosis, sclerosis.



Ex. 3. Choose the required nouns from the list below and use them in the sentence in the plural. Translate the sentences.

adieu

analysis


bowler-hat

cactus


dug-out

memorandum

Miss Spenlow

Mr

Norman


pas

parenthesis

Roman


rickshaw

stratum


woman-writer

1. The clerk's office of ... Dodson and Fogg was a dark mouldy, earthly-smelling room. 2. She descended into his boat, followed by the continual ... of Don Benito. 3. More than six hundred red-wheeled ... rolled along the wide, level streets. 4. The ... around certain items mean that those items are important. 5. Dr. Kronsky was never in doubt about his ... of world conditions. 6. They sat in their ... . 7. When in Rome, do as the ... do. 8. Not two hundred miles away, men in their trenches were sheltering in their ... from the bitter cold and the pitiless bombardment. 9. The castle was really a castle of the square embattled plan that ... built everywhere. 10. The increase of ... reacted on their connection with journalism. 11. They ... added that if Mr Copperfield would do them the favour to call, they would be happy to hold some conversation on the matter. 12. Last night the laboratory was broken into, and several valuable papers and ... were stolen. 13. The temperature of the lower ... of the air was much higher. 14. These new ... were not difficult to study, and soon Molly was whirling in the dancing crowd. 15. The crosses stuck up like long ... .

Ex. 4. Match the words and the pictures. Write the plurals.

Armadillo, cello, château, chamois, daddy-long-legs, dodo, echidna, fleur-de-lis, hippocampus, ichthyosaurus, igloo, marlin, paramecium, polyhedron, rhino, triceratops.






Uncountable Nouns

UNCOUNTABLE NOUNS have no Number, as they denote something having no definite limits, something which can't be counted. They are usually used in the singular form and agree with the verb-predicate in the singular.



  1. The nouns hair, fruit, money are usually uncountable.

  2. a) material and abstract nouns are usually uncountable. But abstract nouns become countable when they denote concrete instances, special aspects or manifestations of abstract notions. Material nouns become countable when they have the meaning of some sort of material.

E.g. Mr Brown was to choose between love and duty.

(uncountable)



My narrative proceeds to Agnes, with a thankful love.

(countable).



What he felt was in his chest – a sort of tearing asunder

the tissue there, by the two loves. (countable)

Finn the Red-Handed had stolen a quantity of half

curled leaf tobacco. (uncountable)

I like the tobaccos grown on the Volga. Give me a Volga tobacco. (countable)

Note: Only some abstract nouns always remain uncountable: weather, information, progress, news, advice, fun, luck, permission.


  1. Material nouns may be used in the plural to render the meaning of wide expanses covered with this material: waters, sands, snows, etc. In such cases the plural expresses emphasis. E.g. I met him at a retired place of the sands, which I knew he would cross.


  2. Material and abstract nouns become countable when they denote some person or object, such as a beauty 'a beautiful woman', a youth 'a young man', a talent 'a talented person', a success 'a lucky person', a nickel 'a 5 cent coin', a paper 'a newspaper'.

  3. material nouns become countable when some limited portion or a unit of which the material consists is meant. E.g. a cheese "головка сыра"

a fruit "один фрукт"

a rock "камень, скала"

a hair "волосок"


  1. The word fruit is used only in the plural in its figurative meaning. e.g. fruits of education

  2. The word work is countable in the meaning of some writing, a work of art, or a test paper.

E.g. What a lovely work that was of yours!

Note: The word works is construed as the plural in the meaning of 'mechanism'. In the meaning of 'plant' the word works may be construed as the singular and as the plural.

E.g. The gas-works is (are) situated on the river.


  1. The word time is countable in the meaning "раз". In the plural the word times often indicates a period of prevailing conditions.

E.g. Times were not what they had been.

  1. Collective nouns may be uncountable: leafage, foliage "листва", brushwood "хворост", laundry "бельё для стирки", crockery "посуда", machinery, jewelry, traffic, humanity, mankind.

  2. Many countable nouns are uncountable when they denote material, food: duck, lamb, egg, oak, beech.

E.g. Chicken is the best meat. (uncountable)

Count your chickens. (countable)

Nouns used only in the Plural


  1. Nouns designating objects consisting of two similar halves: scales "весы", tongs "щипцы", pliers, scissors, spectacles, trousers, etc. But A pair of scissors is on the table.

  2. Objects consisting of many parts: slums "трущобы", bowels [baulz], movables, goods, etc.

  3. Some material nouns: victuals ['vitlz] "провизия", perishables "скоропортящиеся продукты", eats "еда", parings "очистки", leftovers "остатки", slops "помои", seconds "добавка".

  4. Some abstract notions: tidings "новость", auspices [o:spisi:z] "покровительство", makings "необходимые качества для чего-л", nuptials "свадьба", belongings "владение", riches "богатство", aavings "сбережения", goings-on "поступки, поведение", specifics “matters to be decided exactly, details”.

  5. Some collective nouns: people, police, infantry, cavalry, gentry, clergy, cattle, poultry, vermin, jury.

E.g. Five cattle

Note: Collective nouns family, committee, crew, squad, team, army, board, chorus, government, party, company, band, group, crowd, shop floor, corps de ballet [ko: d 'blei] etc. may be used both in the Singular and in the Plural. (mainly singular in American English)

E.g. Our family is large. (The whole family is meant as a

unit.)


Our family are early risers. (The members of it are

meant.)
Nouns with the Plural Ending -s Construed as the Singular



  1. Names of games: dominoes, checkers, draughts, cards, billiards, ninepins, tenpins, etc.

  2. Metonymic and metaphoric names of people with pejorative connotations: sawbones "хирург", lazybones "лодырь", butterfingers "растяпа, ротозей", sparks (old fashioned) “an electrician or a radio operator”.


E.g. The sawbones we met was a butterfingers.

  1. Names of sciences ending in -s are normally used in the singular: linguistics, economics, physics, acoustics, optics, etc., but when they denote qualities, practical application or activities they are construed as the plural.

E.g. The acoustics of the room are horrible.

  1. Names of diseases measles, mumps are usually used in the singular, but some speakers prefer the plural forms. Words like hysterics, staggers are used in the plural.

  2. The words summons, canvas, alias are just regular countable nouns (summonses, canvases, aliases)


Nouns Used Only in the Plural and Their Homonyms Which May Be Used in the Singular As Well


airs

'affected, superior manner'

air

'the mixture of gases that surrounds the earth and which we breathe.

attentions

'an act of politeness and kindness'

attention

'giving heed'

authorities

'those in authority'

authority

'power, moral supremacy'

colours

'flag'


colour

'tint'

contents

1) 'that which is contained in something'

2) 'a list in a book saying what the book contains'

content

1) (uncountable) 'the subject matter, esp. the ideas, of a book, speech, etc.'

2) (countable) 'the amount of the stated substance contained in something'

customs

'duties imposed by the government on imported or exported goods'

custom

'habit'

damages

'compensation for damage

damage

'injury or harm causing a loss'

defences (defenses)

'fortifications'

defence (defense)

'protection from an attack'

dilapidations

BrE 'the money that one must pay for damage done to a furnished house that one has been renting'

dilapidation

'the state of being dilapidated'

effects

'personal property'

effect

'a result or condition produced by a cause'

irons

'fetters, shackles'

iron

'metal device for smoothing clothes'

looks

'personal appearance (especially pleasant)

look

'glance'


manners

'social behaviour'

manner

' a way in which a thing is done or happens'


pictures

'cinema'

picture

'painting, drawing, photograph'

premises

'a building with any surrounding land'

premise

'a statement or idea on which reasoning is based'

quarters

'lodgings'

quarter

'one fourth'

receipts

'money received by a business, bank, etc.

receipt

' a written statement that one has received money or the fact of receiving'


Comparison Between Some English Nouns and Their Russian Equivalents


English Singular

applause


a clock

cream


debate

fighting


fruit

election


evidence

a gate
gossip

hair

information



ink

intelligence

knowledge

money
news

progress

sledge


a race

a vacation

a watch

yeast


twilight

Russian Plural

аплодисменты

часы

сливки


дебаты, прения

бои


фрукты

выборы

улики

ворота (The form gates is used to denote more than one objects.)

сплетни (a gossip – "сплетник")

волосы (a hair – "волосок")

сведения

чернила


сведения

знания


деньги (The form moneys is used to denote different currencies.)

новости


успехи

сани


гонки, соревнования

каникулы


часы

дрожжи


сумерки

English Plural – Russian Singular


amends – компенсация

archives – архив

arms – оружие

ashes – пепел

auspices – покровительство

belongings – имущество

binoculars – бинокль

contents – содержание

clothes – одежда

credentials – рекомендация

customs – таможня

dividers – циркуль

dregs – осадок

eaves – карниз

field-glasses – бинокль

opera-glasses – бинокль

goods – товар

lodgings – квартира

oats – овёс

outskirts – окраина

proceeds – доход

quarters – квартира

riches – богатство

slums – трущоба

stairs – лестница

suds – мыльная пена

sweepings – мусор

tweezers – пинцет

victuals – провизия

wages – зарплата


The words grapes, carrots, beets, potatoes, onions, radishes (when used collectively) E.g. The carrots are fresh from the kitchen-garden.


EXERCISES

Ex. 1. Translate into English.

1. Ешьте больше фруктов и овощей. 2. Эти советы разумны. Советую вам ими воспользоваться. 3. Вы будете принимать участие в гонках? 4. Ваши часы отстают на 21 минуту. 5. Это надёжные сведения? 6. Его знания по физике не глубокие. 7. Артистов встретили бурей аплодисментов. 8. Прения были долгими. 9. Ваши успехи в шведском языке просто удивительны.10. Это неожиданные новости. 11. Каникулы были скучные. 12. На улицах города шли ожесточённые бои. 13. Ворота нужно починить. 14. Немного денег лучше, чем ничего.

Ex. 2. Translate into English.

1. На острове Великобритания зарплата выплачивается каждую неделю. 2. Современная одежда красива и удобна. 3. Морковь богата витаминами. 4. Вы знаете содержание этого документа? 5. Ты взял бинокль? -- Нет, он нам не нужен. Наши места во втором ряду. 6. Дрожжи были испорчены, и ничего не вышло. 7. Сани стоят у ворот. 8. Хотя и кажется, что все улики против мистера Смита, он не виноват. 9. Окраина этого города отличается от центра. 10. Лошади дремали. Только одна задумчиво ела овёс. 11. Джон достал циркуль, внимательно посмотрел на него, и положил его назад под шкаф. 12. Мистер Браун вынес из университета много научных сведений. 13. Погода плохая, хлеб дорогой, фрукты съедены. 14. Сумерки уже совсем омрачили небо, и только на западе бледнел остаток алого сияния. 15. Такие сведения вы можете найти только в архиве. 16. Богатство существует, чтобы его тратить.


Ex. 3. Fill in the blanks with the given noun in the plural or singular.

  1. damage

1. You've made a charge against me. Unless you take it back and apologize within two minutes, I'll sue you for ... for defamation of character. 2. He sent a message to the Old Chief that if he wanted his cattle he would have to pay for the ... . 3. 500 miles of property was suffering from serious erosion ... . 4. ... , gentlemen, is the only punishment with which you can visit him.

  1. custom

1. You know their marriage ... were so shocking that I couldn't possibly describe them to you. 2. The book is in fact based on Melville's years spent at the tip of Manhattan while with the ... House. 3. Now that the war was over they were getting more civil in accordance with the ... of human nature..

  1. manner

1. I won't have the coarse ... in my house. 2. Mr Micawber's ... peculiarly qualified him for a banking businessman. 3. He bowed over her hand in (an) intoxicated ... . 4. She had looked after babies and women in (a) miraculous ... .


  1. look

1. Oh, long, long afterwards, I saw that ... subside, as it did now, into the lovely smile. 2. The skippers are giving me unfriendly ... . 3. She had kept her ... , her slimness, and the colour of her dark hair.

  1. colour

1. Look at him! See how he changes ... . Which of us looks the guilty person, he or I? 2. Cowperwood had decided that he did not care to sail under any false ... so far as Addison was concerned. 3. I was beaten myself into all the ... of the rainbow imaginable. 4. His defeat seemed inevitable, but contrary to all expectations he came off with flying ... .

  1. attention

1. I beg to congratulate you on this considerable acquisition, and expect your orders, to which I shall hasten to give my best ... . 2. Out there she would still be more helpless against the ... of her own husband.

  1. authority

1. All ... belong(s) to the people. 2. This could be done by mutual agreement with the ecclesiastical ... . 3. I had better know, so that I can satisfy the ... , if necessary. 4. With good-natured ... he bade the blacks stand back.

  1. air

1. Mr Cox gave himself great ... , sticking out his chin. 2. The hot ... quivered round our feet. 3. A family of six, not including a domestic, cannot live upon ... .

  1. content

1. This food has (a) high fat ... . 2. I like the style of his writing but I don't like the ... . 3. She drank the ... of the bottle. 4. The police emptied the bag and examined the ... . 5. The Prime Minister declined to go into details on the ... of his talks with the Chancellor. 6. Look at the ... before you buy the book.

Ex. 4. Give the required form of the words in brackets and translate them into Russian.

1. The study of correlative terms existing in a particular language may often throw valuable light on the (manner) and (custom) of the nations using it. 2. I had so much wisdom as to sail under false (colour) in this foolish jaunt of mine. 3. What do you mean by your (look)? 4. When we arrived at the frontier we hoped to get through the (custom) pretty quickly. 5. The question of (damage) worried him too. He wanted to make that fellow suffer, but he remembered that to claim (damage) would make himself suffer. 6. Mrs Sturmunddrang had very bad (manner). 7. We took our (quarter) in the village guesthouse. 8. The (air) heavy with perfume drifted into the room. 9. We do not expect your few knights to ride to our (defense). 10. "Please go on with the recitation," said the professor suavely, with his slight (authority). 11. Two hundred pounds worth of (damage) had been done to the crop.

Ex. 5. Choose the right word in brackets.

1. Ethics (deal/deals) with morals. 2. Such ethics in one so young (deserves/deserve) the highest praise. 3. What (was/were) his politics then? 4. Semantics (is/are) an exciting study. 5. The semantics of your thinking (is/are) all wrong. 6. What is the reason for (this/these) terrible summons? 7. You only say that because maths (is/are) your best subject. 8. The gas-works (is/are) over there. 9. Most of the children here have had measles. Those that have not are sure to get (it/them) sooner or later. 10. And you haven't told me what physics (is/are) all about. 11. He knew the sender of the post of the post card well enough – a friend for whom billiards (was/were) a life's passion. 12. If there (is/are) (a/-) butterfingers among us there, it is not me. 13. A century and a half earlier Persia had attacked Greece and Macedonia, and Athens (was/were) burned down. 14. It seems but yesterday that I had the honour of attending you in the mumps. You come through (it/them) charmingly, sir. The detective's clothes (was/were) wrinkled and filthy. 16. It was a strange rousing noise that made the heart beat. 17. The summons (was/were) almost magical. 18. The odds (is/are) ninety-nine to a hundred that you wound no feelings. 19. Morphemics, which (includes/include) everything in the language from the smallest unit of meaning to the construction of the sentence, (takes/take) (its/their) name from morpheme. 20. Dominoes (comes/come) from the Latin word 'dominus', meaning 'master'. 21. There (is/are) no other news in Pegotty's letter. 22. He had so little money left that he must find cheaper lodgings still. He would be glad to move to (it/them) as soon as possible. 23. Your quarters (is/are) quite comfortable. 24. There (is/are) goods. If you want (it/them), you can have (it/them). 25. The graffiti [gr'fi:ti] (has/have) been painted over. 26. To address this problem, the United States (is/are) ready to offer a portion of (its/ their) strategic reserves. 27. Cannes (is/ are) a fashionable seaside holiday town where an international film festival is held. 28. The trivia (is/ are) very important for us. 29. The canvas (is/ are) said to have been painted by Van Gogh. 30. Flanders (wants/want) more railway investments. 31. For some people the Netherlands (is/are) difficult to find on the globe. 32. Again, ethics (is/are) being trampled in favour of self-interest.

Ex. 6. Fill in the blanks with the given noun in the necessary form (with an article or without it).


  1. leaf

1. The long soak of the rain has taken all the tragic colouring from the autumn ... . 2. The plane-trees were bursting into ... .

  1. chicken

1. The ... arrived as the main course of their dinner on the terrace. 2. The hens were pecking round it, some ... were balancing on the drinking trough.

  1. oak

  1. ... may fall when reeds stand the storm. 2. The room was panelled in black ... .

  1. goose

1. It was only ... they ate. 2. ... , chickens, and ducks provide protein for the rice-based meals of most Malagasy.

  1. youth

1. Soames stood in the open French window of the dining-room moved by that sensuous delight in sunshine and flowers which only came to the full when ... and beauty were there to share it with one. 2. Horn said something in the native tongue and two ... started off.

  1. blossom

1. She reached up, twisted off .. and, twirling it in a her fingers, said: "I suppose I can call you Jon." She thrust those ... against his face. He had the feeling such as the winds in spring must have, trying their first songs among the coming ... .

Ex. 7. Give the plural of the nouns in brackets.

1. Mr Sulky presented us with six (penny). 2. She gave him two new (penny). 3. Shepherds in berets follow with polished walking (staff) in hand. 4. The (die) were rolling again, but the bartender kept looking at the newcomer with rather an amused expression. 5. (Die) are engraved stamps for impressing figures or designs upon some material. 6. The cease-fire talks were to begin in the evening; the commanders-in-chief of the opposing armies arrived with their (staff). 7. To play with loaded (die). 8. All (brother) in our sacred brotherhood defended the poor, the weak and desolate. 9. To listen to them talk, you'd think they were (genius).

Ex. 8. Choose the right word in brackets.

1. The crew trotted off to (its/his/her/their) barracks. 2. My family (is/are) of opinion that Mr Micawber should quit London. 3. They were going along very leisurely, taking their time, when there (was/were) plenty of other traffic in the road. 4. The newly married couple (was/were) setting out by car immediately after lunch. 5. Elsie wondered why the gentry (was/were) so keen always on meeting criminals. 6. It's always best on such occasions to do what the mob (does/do). 7. The group had (his/her/its/their) ears on end. 8. Mr Smeeth's family (was/were), in fact, in the process of having tea. 9. She didn't tell you her family (was/were) one of the wealthiest in Haiti. 10. She herself was real and only herself. The rest (was/were) all nothingness. 11. A little band of sparrows (was/were) squabbling and twittering noisily in the lilacs of the garden. 13. The community (was/were) gathered in a semi-circle and seated in the uncomfortable wooden-armed common-room chairs. 14. Society (divides/divide) (himself/herself/itself/themselves) into two classes – those who do right and those who do wrong.


THE CATEGORY OF CASE
CASE is a grammatical category which shows relation of the noun with other words in a sentence. It is expressed by the form of the noun.

THE COMMON CASE

THE POSSESSIVE (GENITIVE) CASE

General Rules of Forming the Possessive Case

In writing there are two forms of the possessive case: 's (student's) and for nouns ending in -s and regular plural nouns only the apostrophe (students')

In speech there are four forms of pronunciation of the possessive case:


  1. [z] after vowels and voiced consonants: Billy's, dog's

  2. [s] after voiceless consonants: cat's
  3. [is] after sibilants: judge's, witch's


  4. zero [-]: girls', boys'

The zero form is used:

  1. with regular plural nouns: doctors'

  2. with Greek nouns in -s of more than one syllable:

e.g. Socrates' ['sokrti:z] wife

Euripides' [ju'ripidi:z] plays

Xerxes' ['z:ksi:z} army

In many other names ending in the voiced sibilant [z] the normal spelling of the possessive case is with the apostrophe only (though sometimes 's occurs too): Burns' (Burns's) poems, Dickens' (Dickens's) novels. The ending is pronounced [z] whether the letter 's' is written or not.

If a noun ends in -o or -y, their is no spelling change: hero's. spy's.

Compound nouns have 's joined to the final component:

e.g. the editor-in-chief's office

his mother-in-law's garden


Group Possessive

A specific feature of the English possessive Case is the so-called Group Possessive when 's can be joined

1. to a group of two or more coordinated nouns if such a group refers to a single idea (when two or more persons possess or are related to something in common)

e.g. John and Mary's car

(But John's and Mary's cars if they have different cars.)

2. to a more extensive noun phrase which may even contain a clause.

e.g. The Duke of Norfolk's sister

The secretary of State's private room

John Williamson, the aforementioned tenant's house

Albert the Prince Consort's home

an hour or two's time

The Queen of Sheba's beauty

In colloquial speech it is possible to come across even such examples as:

The blonde I was dancing with's name (Salinger)

The girl in my class's mother (Salinger)

The old man what-do-you-call-him's house

The man I know's hat

This is rare of course.

The Absolute Possessive

There are some cases when a noun in the Possessive case is not followed by the head noun and then it stands for the whole noun phrase. It is used


  1. to avoid repetition:

e.g Our house is better than Mary's

2. to denote places where business is conducted, such as the butcher's, the baker's, the chemist's, the plural being the butchers', or institutions: St. Pauls's (Cathedral), St. James's (Palace), or places of residence: at Timothy's, at my uncle's.




The Combination "Of + Possessive" (Double Possessive)

The combination "Of + Possessive" usually has partitive meaning, denoting "one of ...":

E.g. He is a friend of my brother's (=one of my brother's friends)

It is a novel by Bernard Malamud’s (=one of his novels)

But sometimes the partitive meaning is lost and the construction acquires emotional force or becomes purely descriptive.

E.g. That cottage of my friend's
A Possessive Governing Another Possessive

It is very rare.

E.g. My son's wife's family

All the hoofs of King Saul's father's asses (E.B. Browning)

He is my wife's first husband's only child's godfather. (Pinero)

Lewis Carol’s children’s story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The Use of the Possessive Case


  1. With nouns denoting people and animals: John's stupid idea, the swallow's nest.

  2. With nouns denoting time and distance, such as minute, moment, hour, day, week, month, year, today, yesterday, tomorrow; inch, foot, mile, etc.

e.g. last year's snow nine days' wonder

a two weeks' time The Thirty Years' War

a good day's work


  1. With names of countries and towns: Canada's population, London's ambulance service, The Russian Federation’s foreign debts.
  2. With names of newspapers and different organizations: The Guardian's analysis, The Headache Department's office.


  3. Often with the nouns world, nation, country, city, town, ship, boat, car; sun, moon, earth, etc.

e.g. the earth's life

the car's brake



  1. With abstract nouns and material nouns in case of personification:

e.g. Thou knowst not gold's effect. (Shakespeare)

Setting out upon life's journey. (Stevenson)

What was the pity's recompense? (Byron)

Joy's recollection is no longer joy.

Water's edge

  1. With names of seasons, months and days:

a winter's day

  1. In the following set expressions:

to one's heart's content; at (to) a hair's breadth; to be at one's wit's end (also to be at one's wits end); to have something at one's fingers' ends (tips) (=to have something at one's fingertips); for old acquaintance's sake; for old times' sake; for appearance's sake; to have a mind's picture of something; to be on a razor's edge; at a snail's pace; at death's door; to keep somebody at arm's length; (at) a stone's throw from something; out of harm's way; a pin's head; a needle's eye; no man's land; a busman's holiday; plumber's friend = plumber's helper (AmE); devil's advocate; an old wives' tale; baker's dozen; bird's eye view; to be the cat's whiskers; cat's paw; donkey's years (BrE, slang); to send somebody on a fool's errand; fool's gold; a fool's paradise; not to do a hand's turn (BrE); dog's life; dog's dinner = dog's breakfast (Br E, slang); not to stand a dog's chance; not to have a snowball's chance; to know something from the horse's mouth; like water off a duck's back; to stir a hornet's nest; mare's nest; to make sheep's eyes at somebody; no-man's land; mind's eye; traveller's cheque; collector's item, kid's stuff (AmE: kid stuff), child's play; The Prosecutor General's Office, Hobson's choice.

Meaning of the Possessive Case


  1. The idea of belonging: Mary's cow

  2. Partitive meaning: the cat's tail

  3. Personal or social relations: Ben's uncle

  4. Subjective relations: the doctor's arrival (=the doctor arrived)

  5. Objective relations: Caesar's murder (=Caesar was murdered)

  6. Authorship or origin: Byron's poem; the boy's story

  7. Descriptive meaning: a woman's college; angel's smile; a two hours' walk

Note: Sometimes the same idea may be expressed in different ways: E.g. "Forster's Life of Dickens" is the same thing as "Dickens' Life by Forster".
Use of the Article with the Possessive Case

When an attribute is expressed by a noun in the Possessive Case the article or its absence mostly refers to the noun in the possessive case.

e.g. the fellow's manners (= the manners of the fellow)

a neighbour's daughter (= the daughter of a neighbour)

a lion's teeth (= the teeth of a lion)

Margaret's face (= the face of Margaret)

When the Possessive Case has the descriptive meaning the article or its absence refers to the head noun.



e.g. a children's hospital

a doctor's degree

widow's weeds

sheep's eyes

a three moths' leave

a summer's day

raven's wings


In the example above raven's wings does not mean the wings of one particular raven, but a kind of wings. So, the zero article refers to the word wings.

Note: The adjectives with the Possessive Case are used in the following way:

the old man's house (= the house of the old man)

the man's old house (= the old house of the man)

With the descriptive meaning the adjective refers to the head noun. e.g. a nice women's college (= a nice college for women, not a college for nice women)

EXERCISES
Ex. 1. Translate the sentences into Russian.

1. It was donkey's years ago. 2. I haven't seen you for donkey's years. 3. It's a real dog's dinner! 4. My new calculator really is the cat's whiskers. 5. Mr Green wouldn't join in the argument, but just played devil's advocate. 6. You are living in a fool's paradise if you think so. 7. He is off chasing fool's gold. 8. I've been sent on a fool's errand again. 8. From here we have a marvellous bird's-eye view of the whole city. 9. They say it's good for your health, but it's just an old wives' tale. 10. The painter spent a busman's holiday painting his own fence. 11. Mr Müller was shot crossing no-man's land. 12. It's the weekend, so you can sleep to your heart's content. 13. You'd better ask David – he has the whole subject at his fingers' tips. 14. The car came careering round the bend and missed us by a hair's breadth; it came within a hair's breadth of hitting us. 15. He doesn't have a snowball's chance to get this job. 16. I must have told him a hundred times, and he always forgets – it's like water off a duck's back. 17. The old man can still see in his mind's eye the house where he lived as a child. 18. Edward nearly died after the accident – his life was on a razor's edge. 19. Anyone would think he is at death's door, the way he is complaining, but he's only got a bit of a cold. 20. Our house is only a stone's throw from the station. 21. The exam was kid's stuff compared to the one we had last year. 22. I don't know who designed this course, but it's a real dog's dinner. 23. Going on a diet is child's play compared to giving up smoking. 24. Mary was making sheep's eyes at John. 25. Blake's black bike's brake bracket block broke. 26. Her one-eyed woman’s mind is intent on getting up the hill.


Ex. 2. Make up dialogues using set phrases with the Possessive case.

Ex. 3. Translate into English using the Possessive Case.

1) Позo-позавчерашняя газета; 2) злая и лохматая собака мистера Смита; 3) правление Виктории и Елизаветы II; 4) бочка мистера Диогена (Diogenes); 5) дедушка Джона, Мэри и Карла-Хайнца; 6) шерсть трёх больших овец; 7) Ахиллесова (Achilles) пята; 8) отбойный молоток (vacuum drill) сэра Генри и сэра Фердинандо; 9) глупая и навязчивая идея Чарльза; 10) население оазиса; 11) ржавый синхро-фазатрон (synchrophasatron) человека, которого я не знаю (colloquial); 12) в парикмахерской; 13) игольное ушко; 15) четверть-часовое ожидание троллейбуса; 16) галоши восьми главнокомандующих; 17) быть в опасной ситуации; 18) завоевание Восточной Англии проклятыми викингами; 19) напильник (file) Людовика XIII; 20) табуретка Ганса и Христиана Андерсена; 21) одна из морских свинок водопроводчика Джоунза (Jones); 22) завтрак туриста; 23) трудная и тяжёлая жизнь среднестатистического японца; 24) полёт над гнездом кукушки; 25) новая логарифмическая линейка бывшего канцлера Федеративной Республики Германии.



Ex 4. Translate into Russian. Try to understand what you have written and write it in a single word.

Your mother's son's mother's husband's daughter's father's brother is your ... .


Ex 5. Rack your brains and translate the sentences into Russian.

1. Группа бродячих дантистов на трёхколёсных велосипедах пронеслась перед самым носом мистера Апдауна, когда он пересекал улицу. 2. Том провёл зимние каникулы у тёти. 3. После получасовой ходьбы мы были уже у реки. 4. Вчера у Джона не было времени пойти к зубному врачу, а сегодня уже поздно. 5. Шон О'Донелл был одним из старых друзей Патрика Финнегана. 6. Кого вы встретили у моих родственников? 7. На лестничной площадке сидело три собаки; никто не знал, которая была мистера Брауна. 8. Мистер Смит живёт недалеко от помойки. 9. Джон нашёл три рубля, когда возвращался от Тома и Джейн. 10. Наступило минутное молчание, затем оркестр снова начал играть музыку. 11. Между прочим, вам советовали купить эту картину Рубенса. 12. Мистер Миттельшнауцер работал переводчиком в совхозе "Красный луч" – три с половиной дня езды на тракторе от города. 13. По утрам Джон читал послезавтрашние газеты в своё удовольствие. 14. Друг врага врага моего друга – мой друг. 15. Существует ли перевод книг Ильфа и Петрова на немецкий язык? 16. Я хочу такой же портфель как у Пети и Бори. 17. Я собираюсь обедать у Джеймса. 18. "Улисс" – один из самых популярных романов Джеймса Джойса. 19. Контрольная работа Майкла была такой же отвратительной как и у других студентов. 20. Студенты бросали шпаргалки в урну, от греха подальше, и радостно шли сдавать зачёт по грамматике. 21. Теодор Цвайзер знал кибернетику как свои пять пальцев, но из за приличия делал вид, что не знает. 22. Билл Шейкспир, главный кочегар Географического Общества, увидел в лучах заходящего солнца, как дверь кабинета главного редактора журнала "Лайф" со скрипом открылась и закрылась. 23. У меня нет своего вертолёта, этот вертолёт — моего дедушки. 24. Не нравится мне что-то эта новая книга Диккенса. 25. Затем все прошли в отдел детской обуви. 26. У вас память как у слона. 27. Управдом – друг человека. 28. “Тойота” – мечта идиота.

Ex. 6. Insert the correct articles.

1. The Finance Ministry took ... Moscow authorities' attacks in its stride, and parried by reminding them that they were poor tax collectors who had been handing out too many tax benefits. 2. According to ... Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, who heads ... IMF's monetary and finance committee, a decision has already been passed to expedite the disbursement of $50 billion to aid 40 least developed countries. 3. Meanwhile, the finance ministers of the G-7 leading industrial nations drew ... Prague session's attention to high oil prices. 4. She was ... headmaster's daughter. 5. She wondered looking at ... Mrs. Carlton's calm face. 6. John wore ... telegraph messenger's coat which was far too big and a cap which was not quite big enough. 7. "I have often wondered," he said, "why there is a kind of a Christian awe about ... confectioner's shop." 8. ... aunt Pitty's apprehensions quieted when she saw that Rhett was on his best behaviour. 9. In an interview on ... BBC Radio's Women's Hour, the Prime Minister said the government had been reluctant to put up interest rates. 10. Denwaby Close was not just a substantial farm; it was a monument to ... man's endurance and skill. 11. ... President Bush's speech lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. 12. At the entrance to ... Moscow Hippodrome, I was met by ... uniformed guard not unlike ... cop in ... U.S. blockbuster, who said I had to pay ... entrance fee. 13. “She is going to sail for Europe, at noon tomorrow for … two-years’ stay,” said Richard. 14. The kites sang dryly like … raven’s wings in flight. 15. These forests are … hunter’s paradise. 16. It’s sheer paradise to relax in a hot bath after … hard day’s work.



THE ADJECTIVE

THE ADJECTIVE is a part of speech which denotes quality or state of a substance.





  1. SYNTACTICAL FUNCTIONS: Attribute, Predicative.

  2. MORPHOLOGICAL GATEGORIES: Degrees of Compa-rison.

  3. MORPHOLOGICAL COMPOSITION:

SIMPLE

(one root)

e.g. new


DERIVATIVE

(prefixes and suffixes)

e.g. documentary, glorious


COMPOUND

(more than one stem)

e.g. colour-blind high-flown, wall-to-wall









ADJECTIVE










QUALITATIVE

(They denote such qualities as size, shape, colour, etc. directly.)

e.g. big, green, important


silver watch


silver stream

RELATIVE

(They denote qualities through relation to materials, place, time, actions.)

e.g. wooden, preparatory, English, Kiribatese, weekly








DESCRIPTIVE

(They denote a quality in a broad sense.)

e.g. cold, light





LIMITING

(They denote a category, a section of a whole, a number. They single out the substance, impart a concrete or unique meaning to it, specify it, and therefore can seldom be replaced by other adjectives of similar meaning.)

e.g. an obvious failure, a definite loss, the previous page

Note: Many adjectives may function either as descriptive or limiting, depending on the head-word and the context. Thus a little finger may denote either a small finger or the last finger of a hand. In the first case little is descriptive, in the second it is limiting. Other examples of the kind are:




Descriptive

foreign manners

a musical voice

a dramatic scene



Limiting

foreign languages

a musical instrument

a dramatic performance

A change in the position, and accordingly, of the syntactic status of the adjective may also result in a change in the meaning of the adjective. Thus, in a fast train the adjective is limiting, and it denotes a specific kind of train, whereas in The train was fast the adjective is descriptive.

Degrees of Comparison

Only a small proportion of all adjectives can form degrees of comparison. These are descriptive qualitative adjectives, the meaning of which is compatible with the idea of gradation or quality.




POSITIVE (ABSOLUTE)

COMPARATIVE

SUPERLATIVE

There are three ways of forming degrees of comparison: the synthetic, analytic and suppletive (irregular) ways.

  1. Synthetic (by adding the inflexion –er, -est) is used with:

  1. monosyllabic adjectives

e.g. fine – finger – finest

  1. disyllabic adjectives in which stress falls on the last syllable:

e.g. polite – politer – politest

  1. disyllabic adjectives with the suffixes: -able, -ible, -er,

-some, -ow:

e.g. able – abler – ablest

tender – tenderer – tenderest

happy – happier – happiest

handsome – handsomer – handsomest

narrow – narrower – narrowest

Note: Spelling rules: 1) The final y – i, e.g. easy – easier – easiest, but y is not changed into i, if, it is part of the root, e.g. shy – shyer – shyest.

2) The final consonant is doubled if preceded by a short vowel, e.g. big – bigger – biggest.



  1. Analytic (by means of word more, most) is used with other disyllabic and polysyllabic adjectives:

e.g. difficult – more difficult – most difficult

Note: Even monosyllabic adjectives used in postposition or predicatively have a greater tendency towards analytic forms of comparison than when used attributively:

e.g. There are many monkeys more clever than Mr. Brown.

He is a cleverer man.

This man is more clever.


  1. Suppletive (by different roots)

e.g. good/well – better – best

bad – worse – worst

little – less – least

many – more – most

Note: The superlative is sometimes used without the when the adjective denotes the highest degree of quality and no comparison with other objects is implied.

e.g. The path is steepest here.

She is happiest at home.

A most interesting book.



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