Comparatives and superlatives
Hi Omar and everyone,
Like you, I'm a great list maker. I make useful lists. When I get in to the office each morning I make a list on a sticky note of all the things I want to get done. At home, I write lists on scraps of paper, on the backs of envelopes and on old letters. I even have a pencil and piece of paper next to my bed in case I think of something during the night!
I always make my lists to remind me what I need to do or what I need to buy. Shall I tell you something really sad? Sometimes I add something to my list after I have done it, just so that I can cross it off the list. It makes me feel I've achieved more! So, I have a question for everyone. Are you a highlighter or crosser-outer? Of course those aren't really words. What I mean is: when you make a list of things to do, do you
a) cross something out when it is complete
b) highlight something with a highlighter pen when it is complete?
I cross things out. I find it more satisfying to see a list with a lot of things crossed out and only a few things left to do. But apparently, this is very negative. I've read that if you highlight something it feels more positive than crossing it out. It's a celebration. What do you think?
Omar, I love your idea of a website with lots of checklists on it. I would definitely sign up for that!
I understand exactly what you mean by saying "life's teachers". Whilst a "role model" is technically the correct term, I think "life's teachers" is more evocative. A role model is someone who is regarded as a good example to follow. They haven't necessarily given you any good advice or taught you anything: but the way they live their life is inspiring. I think what you mean by "life's teachers" is something even more than that?
Your English is, as always, very good. I thought today we'd take a quick look at comparatives and superlatives.
We use comparatives to compare one person or thing with one other person or thing. We use superlatives to compare one person or thing with many other people or things. My colleague Sean says "It's easy - when you compare it's comparatives (better than/more interesting than etc); when it's super duper it's superlatives (the best / the most interesting!)..."
There are some rules when making comparatives and superlatives:
- The simple rule is that if the word has one syllable like 'small', 'cold' we add '-er' for a comparative e.g. old/older; fast/faster and '-est' for a superlative e.g. fast/fastest. We never use 'more' + a comparative ending in 'er'
- With words of three or more syllables like intelligent we can't add 'er'. So we say 'more intelligent' and 'most intelligent'.
- This also applies to adjectives formed with -ing and -ed and those ending in -ious and -ful e.g. boring/more boring/most boring; beautiful/more beautiful/most beautiful
- With words that end in 'y': change the 'y' to 'i' and ad '-er' for a comparative e.g. easy/easier; lovely/lovelier and '-est' for a superlative e.g. easy/easiest; lovely/loveliest
Of course, this is English, so there are always irregulars! e.g. good/better/best; bad/worse/worst
You said "although the more older I become" - here you have used a mixture of the rules! Remember, 'old' is a short word, so you just add -er and you don't need the 'more'. If you had used the word 'ancient', that would have been 'more ancient'.
'Although the older I become, the more like him I become' sounds better and is a bit more informal. You can use 'like' instead of 'similar to'
Are you missing the Olympics? I am. So, here's an idea for you to practise your comparatives and superlatives. Think of your favourite athletes or country and - using these adjectives or others of your choice - list some things about them! Lists again! Try to use a comparative and superlative.
Fast (eg: Usain Bolt was faster than Yohan Blake. In fact, he was the fastest in the world as he broke the Olympic record.)
Quadruple London Paralympics champion David Weir
Sad: in this context it means embarrassing not unhappy
Super duper: slang meaning great, wonderful, marvellous!