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English Notes » Using Modifiers

Using Modifiers Using Modifiers

                               Using Modifiers


I. Three degrees of comparison

   A. Positive: used when there's no comparison

   B. Comparative: used when comparing exactly two items or people

   C. Superlative: used when comparing more than two items or people


II. Comparative forms of adjectives and adverbs 


   # of syllables of word Comparative Degree Superlative Degree

      one -er -est
      two more OR -er most OR - est
      three + more most


III. Irregular adjectives and adverbs

    Positive Degree Comparative Degree Superlative Degree

     bad                   worse          worst
     badly                 worse          worst
     far (distance)      farther        farthest
     far (extent)         further        furthest
     good                  better         best
     well                   better         best
     many                 more           most
     much                 more           most


IV. Making logical comparisons

   A. Balanced comparisons: When comparing two or more items, they should be basically similar things.

Example: My school's mascot is better than your school. This sentence is incorrect because it is comparing the school mascot to the school. A correct sentence would be as follows: My school's mascot is better than your school's mascot.

   B. Other and else in comparisons: When comparing one of a group with the rest of the group, make sure the sentence contains the word else or other.

Example: Stacy's test scores are higher than anyone's is. This sentence is incorrect because since Stacy is someone, then she cannot logically be compared to all students. A corrected sentence would be as follows: Stacy's scores are higher than anyone else's is.

V. Troublesome Modifiers

   A. Bad/badly

      1. Bad is an adjective and will only modify a noun or a pronoun; it will be used after linking verbs
      2. Badly is an adverb and will modify a verb

   B. Fewer/less

      1. Fewer answers the question How many? It will be used to modify things that can be counted.
      2. Less answers the question How much? It will be used to modify things that cannot be counted.

   C. Good/well:

      1. Good is always an adjective so it will be used to modify a noun or a pronoun. It will never come after an action verb.
      2. Well can be an adjective or an adverb. It is used as an adjective only when describing one's health.

   D. Just 

       When just is an adverb meaning "no more than", it should be placed immediately before the word it is modifying.
]

E. Only

      The position of only in a sentence can affect the sentence's whole meaning so it should be placed wisely.







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