Friday, June 16, 2006

Problems with comparatives

Problems with Comparatives

Basics

1. Specific similarlity = as + adj./adv. + as

2. Comparative = adj./adv.: more + adj./adv. + than or
adj.er /adv.er + than

3. Superlative = adj./adv.: the most + adj./adv. or
the adj.est/adv.est

Always remember some irregular adjectives/adverbs like these -

good - better - best

far - farther or further - farthest or furthest
little - less - least
many/much - more - most
bad - worse - worst

Points to remember

1). Be sure that you make a comparison with logically comparable nouns. You cannot compare a company in India with USA but you can compare a company in India and a company in USA.

You usually use "that of" or "those of" instead of repeating a noun to express a logical comparative.

e.g

Incorrect: A car in India is much different from USA
Correct: A car in India is much different from that of USA


Incorrect: The question whether to divest themselves of stock in companies that do business in South Africa is particularly troublesome for the nations 16 private Black colleges because their economic bases are often more fragile than most predominantly White colleges.

Correct: The question whether to divest themselves of stock in companies that do business in South Africa is particularly troublesome for the naiton’s 16 private Black colleges because their economic bases are often more fragile than those of most predominantly White colleges.

You’re comparing between economic bases of Black colleges and economic bases of White colleges.

2). Take care while using these pairs of similar words -

the same as - the same
similar to - similar
different from - different
like - alike

The formers are always followed by noun while the latters aren’t.

e.g

American cultures are (the same as/similar to/different from/like) those of England.
or
American cultures and those of England are (the same/similar/different/alike).


3). Multiple numbers (half/twice/three times/ten times etc.) are always used with as much/many as

e.g

USA has roughly twice as many people as India (does).

4). Fewer than and less than - Always use fewer than with a countable noun and leave an uncountable noun for less than. Fortunately you don’t have a problem between more (many) than and more (much) than!

e.g.

There are fewer people in Japan than there are in India. People in Japan spend less time at home than do Americans.

5). Double comparatives - Remember this structure; The more ..........., the more........

e.g

Incorrect: Dr. Hakuta’s research among Hispanic children in the United States indicates that the more the children use both Spanish and English , their intellectual advantage is greater in skills underlying reading ability and nonverbal logic.

Correct: Dr. Hakuta’s research among Hispanic children in the United States indicates that the more the children use both Spanish and English , the greater their intellectual advantage in skills underlying reading ability and nonverbal logic.