is said. It can be a noun, a pronoun, an infinitive, a
gerund, a noun phrase or clause.
Verb : Write, read... are called transitive verbs. Trasitive
verbs have objects. Sleep, come, go, become.... are
called intransitive verbs. They have no objects. If
the transitive verbs have two objects (answer to what
and to whom) they are called ditransitive verbs.
Object : The object that answers the question ‘what’ is the
DO. The object that answers the question ‘to whom’
Complement : It completes the predicate of a sentence. It is an
essential part. The subject complement describes or characterises the subject. The object complement
describes or characterises the object.
Adjunct : It gives additional meaning. It answers to the
question how (manner), when (time), where (place)
The camel is tall. The elephant is taller than the camel. But,
the tallest animal is the giraffe. It is nearly 5 metres tall. The giraffe
also has the longest neck in the world. Its small head sits at the top
of its long, long neck. The neck is longer than the rest of its body!
‘Tall’ describes the height of the camel. ‘Taller’ compares
the height of the elephant to that of the camel. ‘Tallest’ describes
the height of the giraffe when compared to all the others. Similarly,
’large’ describes the size of the rhinoceros. ‘Larger’ compares the
size of the elephant to that of the rhinoceros. ‘Largest’ describes
the size of the whale when compared to ail the others.
We see that the adjectives change in form (tall, taller, tallest;
large, larger, largest) to show comparison. They are called the three
Degrees of Comparison.
Tall and large, are in the positive degree.
Taller and larger, are in the comparative degree.
Tallest and largest, are in the superlative degree.
The positive degree is used to denote the existence of a quality
The comparative degree denotes a higher degree of quality
and is used when two things are compared.
The superlative degree denotes the highest degree of quality
and is used when more than two things are compared.
Generally, the comparative is formed by adding ‘er’ to the
adjective and the superlative is formed by adding ‘est’.
e.g. sweet sweeter sweetest
rich richer richest
When the adjective ends in ‘e’, only ‘r’ and ‘st’ are added.
e.g. large larger largest
brave braver bravest
When the adjective ends in ‘y’, preceded by a consonant,
the ‘y’ is changed into ‘i’ before adding ‘er’ and ‘est’.
e.g. heavy heavier heaviest
lazy lazier laziest
For some adjectives ending in a single consonant, the
consonant is doubled before adding ‘er’ and ‘est’.
e.g. fat fatter fattest
mad madder maddest
Certain adjectives form the comparative by using the adverb
‘more’, and the superlative by adding the adverb ‘most’.
beautiful more beautiful most beautiful
difficult more difficult most difficult
The following adjectives are compared irregularly, that is,
their comparative and superlative are not formed from the positive.
Positive Comparative Superlative
Good better best
Bad worse worst
Little less least
Much, many more most
Late later, latter latest, last
Look at the following sentences taken from your lesson:
1. A man can’t know as much as a teacher.
2. Tommy finds a book.
3. Can I read the book with you after school?
In sentence 1, ‘A’ man / ‘a’ teacher refers to the tribe (whole class).
This is a generic reference.
In sentence 2, ‘a’ book refers to a particular, but not (yet) specified thing.
This is a specific reference (known but not specified)
In sentence 3, ‘the’ refers to a particular book.
This is a specific reference (known and specified)
Uses of the indefinite articles:
1. ‘A’ and ‘an’ are used with singular countable nouns.
e.g. The Inspector had a box of tools.
The Inspector gave Margie an apple.
2. ‘A’ and ‘an ‘ are used when talking about a person or
thing for the first time.
e.g. ‘I found a book.’.......... ‘Where did you find the
(When you refer to the same person or thing the second time, you use’the’.)
3. ‘A’ and ‘an’ are used with an adjective and a noun to give
more information about someone or something.
e.g. Tommy had found a real book!
The Inspector had a red face.
4. ‘A’ and ‘an’ are used to refer to ‘one’.
e.g. It was the old school of a hundred years ago.
5. A’ and ‘an’ are used in the sense of’any’.
e.g. A man can’t know as much as a teacher.
Common uses of the definite article:
‘The’ is used -
- in front of a noun
e.g The fun they had.
All the kids learnt the same things.
- when the person spoken to knows which person or thing
e.g. Can I read the book with you after school?
- when one is referring to someone or something already
e.g. Margie had a mechanical teacher....... The teacher
gave her test after test.
- when one is referring to something unique
e.g. the sun, the moon, the earth
- before musical instruments
e.g. the guitar, the violin
- before mountain ranges, seas, rivers, gulfs, etc.
e.g. the Alps, the Red Sea, the Yamuna, the Gulf of
- before superlatives
e.g. the best, the tallest
- before adjectives to talk about a general group of people
e.g. the rich and the poor
- before certain books
e.g. the Bible, the Vedas
- before ordinals
e.g. the 21st century
- as an adverb before comparatives
e.g. the more the merrier