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  1. 1 The Grammar Gameshow

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Welcome to the Grammar Gameshow! Test your knowledge in this crazy quiz! The presenter is a bit strange, the points don't make sense and the prizes could use some improvement, but at least the grammar is correct!

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Episode 15: Comparatives

Poor Selene. She’s heartbroken! The course of true love never does run smooth. Surely, that makes her an easy target for Will? Surely he’ll do his best not to mention it. This time Selene and June go head to head on comparatives! Those useful words and expressions for measuring one thing against another! Who will be found to be less knowledgeable? Find out in this episode of the Grammar Gameshow!

Watch the video and then test yourself below with our quiz

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Will
Hello, and welcome to today’s Grammar Gameshow! I’m your host, Will! This is my game show. There are many like it, but this one is mine. And of course let’s not forget Leslie, our all-knowing voice in the sky.

Leslie
Hello, everyone!

Will
Tonight, we’re going to ask you three questions about…

Leslie
Comparatives! Those useful words and expressions for measuring one thing against another!

Will
OK! Now, let’s meet our contestants!

Selene
Hello, all. My name’s Selene!

Will
And contestant number two?

June
It’s nice to meet you. I’m June!

Will
Great! Nice to see you again, Selene. How are you feeling?

Selene
I’m doing OK. Why?

Will
Well, you know… that tragic accident that happened to Mark.

Selene
Oh, Mark! Why? Why?

Will
Well, just don’t think about him, and you’ll be fine. It’s only true love, it’s not that important. OK. Let’s get going, and don’t forget you can play along at home too. Now, our first round is a grid round. Look at this grid and choose a number. Then use the revealed word to make a comparative about someone in this room. Are you ready? On your marks… Oh sorry! I shouldn’t have said that! Selene, you can go first.

Selene
I’ll have number three, please.

Leslie
Brainless!

Selene
Oh… Oh, my… Will is… June is more brainless than I am.

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Ouch! June! Time for revenge! Choose a number.

June
I’ll take number one.

Leslie
Fat!

June
Selene is fatter than me.

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Are you going to take that? Quick, choose a number!

Selene
I choose six.

Leslie
Ugly!

Selene
June is uglier than I am.

Leslie
Correct!

Will
How dare she! She’s gone mad with grief! Go on, get her back!

June
I’ll choose number two, please.

Leslie
Bad!

June
Selene is a worse person than I am.

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Don’t we all know it. That’s why Mark left. Don’t think about him, Selene!

Selene
Number four!

Leslie
Handsome.

Selene
Will is handsomer than everyone…

Leslie
Correct!

Will
That’s the kind of spirit we need.

Selene
…except Mark.

Will
Whoa. Factually incorrect there. Minus 1 point. Leslie?

Leslie
Comparatives are adjectives that allow us to compare two or more things. To make one, modify an adjective. If it has one syllable, add 'ER'.  If it has two syllables, it may take 'ER' or 'more' or both! Check a dictionary. If it has three syllables or greater, we add ‘more’. Lastly, the third type is irregular, such as ‘good’ and ‘bad’. And don’t forget to use ‘than’!

Will
Well done! Twenty points each, minus the one Selene lost. I’ll just mark that down. Oh sorry… poor choice of words. On to our second round, one syllable and two syllable adjectives ending in ‘Y’, change their spelling when they become comparatives. Which of these comparative spelling rules is incorrect?

A) Basic adjective + ‘ER’

B) Ends in ‘E’: + ‘R’

C) Ends in vowel consonant: Double consonant + ‘ER’

D) Ends in ‘Y’: Change ‘Y’ to ‘I’ + ‘ER’

Selene
I don’t seem to remember C. I think that one is incorrect

Will
Sorry. That’s wrong, I’m afraid. I’m going to have to give you a black mark. Oh! Sorry! Sorry! I put my foot in my mouth again. June?

June
This is a trick question. All of the rules are correct.

Will
Well done, June! You’ve beat Selene! That’s bound to leave a mark. Oh sorry! Faux pas! Faux pas! Leslie?

Leslie
Excellent, June. One syllable and two syllable adjectives ending in ‘Y’, change their spelling when they become comparatives. We add ‘ER’ to the basic adjectives. If the adjective ends in ‘E’, we only add ‘R’. If it ends in a single vowel followed by a consonant, we double the consonant and add ‘ER’. Finally, if the adjective ends in ‘Y’, we replace the ‘Y’ with an ‘I’ and add ‘ER’.

Will
Well done, June. Three points for you. You’re doing quite well. Do you think you’ll win?

June
Oh, I will. Mark my words.

Will
I’ll have to mark that one down. Oops… sorry, sorry! OK. On to our last round. Comparatives are not just able to communicate a difference, but also how much of a difference exists. I’m going to show you some comparatives and I want to know if there’s a big difference, small difference, or no difference at all. Here we go: Mark is as nice as Mark.

June
No difference.

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Wow, June. That was quick off the mark. Whoopsie! Here’s the next one: Mark is twice as handsome as Mark. No.  Sorry, you’re well off the mark there.

June
Big difference.

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Mark is a little bit less interesting than Mark.

June
Small difference.

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Last one: Mark is nothing like as cool as Mark

Selene
Mark!  

June
Big difference

Will
Leslie… can we?

Leslie
Well done! Comparative and comparative structures can be modified to include the size of the difference being illustrated. Words like ‘much’, ‘not as…’, ‘nowhere near as…’, ‘a bit’ and ‘as… as…’ are useful here!

Will
Well done, June! Six points for you. And that brings us to the end of today’s Grammar Gameshow. And the winner is… Selene! Well… we could hardly send you… ‘home’. Not when you’re being so much fun! Besides, you’re too easy a mark. Whoops! Here’s what you’ve won!

Leslie
It’s a permanent marker! So you can mark down the days since you lost your love.

Will
Oh, I love you Leslie. We’ll see you again next week, where you can play for another prize. And June? You played well and really tried to make your mark… whoops! But it wasn’t meant to be.

June
That’s not fair. Just because she’s heart-broken…

Will
Release the dolphins! Some people just have no empathy! Isn’t that right, Mark? Whoops! It looks like we’ll need another contestant. Thanks for joining us. Say goodbye, Leslie

Leslie
Hoşça kal, Leslie.

Will
See you next time.

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Comparatives

Comparatives are adjectives that allow us to compare two or more things.  When used in a sentence, they are often followed with 'than'.
I thought this film was more interesting than the last two we saw.

Making comparatives
There are three types of comparative adjectives:
Type 1: 1 syllable or some 2 syllable adjectives - Add 'ER'
Type 2: some 2 syllable adjectives and 3 or greater syllable adjectives - Add 'more'
Type 3: Irregular 

Be careful! There are many two syllable adjectives in English that can be correctly used as type 1 or type 2 comparatives!
Type 1: Leslie is handsomer than Will.
Type 2: Will is more handsome than Leslie.

Type 1 comparatives
If the adjective has one syllable, or is one of the certain group of 2 syllable adjectives, add 'ER'. 
'fast' becomes 'faster'
If the adjective ends in 'E', just add 'R'
'nice' becomes 'nicer'
If the adjective has two syllables and ends in 'Y', change the 'Y' to an 'I' and add 'ER'
'happy' becomes 'happier'
If the adjective ends in a single vowel followed by a consonant, double the consonant and add 'ER'
'hot' becomes 'hotter'

Type 2 comparatives
If the adjective has two syllables or greater, put 'more' before the adjective
boring becomes more boring

Type 3 comparatives
Some comparatives are irregular:
'good' becomes 'better'
'bad' becomes 'worse'
'far' becomes 'further'
'fun' becomes 'more fun'

Size of difference
Some comparative structures can show the size of difference. Examples of these are:
No difference: as... as...
James is as tall as Frank.
A small difference: a bit more / less...
My car is a bit more expensive than yours.
A big difference: twice as... as... / nothing like as...
Her story is twice as good as mine.

To do

Try our quiz to see how well you've learned today's language. 

The Grammar Gameshow Quiz

4 Questions

Test your grammar knowledge with the Grammar Gameshow quiz!

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Downloads

You can download the audio and PDF document for this episode here. 

More

That's all from Leslie and the contestants for this episode. Why not go to The Grammar Gameshow homepage to watch another one?