Common Mistakes | Adjectives Comparison & Sequence

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Spot and fix the common mistakes you make when you use adjectives comparison and sequence in this new common mistakes episode from English Plus Podcast.

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I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and I will solve this problem. However, the service is pretty good, and the transcript is almost perfect.

Transcript

Welcome to a new episode from English plus podcast. In today’s episode, we will talk about common mistakes we usually make. When we talk about adjectives, comparison and sequence. Now let’s talk first about adjectives comparison. I will start with a mistake and I really want you to think about the mistake.

[00:00:25] Maybe pause the episode and think about how we can correct this mistake. And then of course, I will tell you how to correct the mistake, what the mistake is all about. And why we’re doing what we’re doing, but before we start this episode, let me remind you that you can find the transcript of this episode in a link.

[00:00:41] I will leave in the description and you can also find a link to our Patreon page, where you can become a patron of the show and support us and help us create more episodes in English. Plus podcasts. And of course we will have our never ending gratitude and you will have the exclusive custom made PDF practice worksheets for every single episode we create only for our patrons.

[00:01:04] So with that being said, let’s dive in and let’s start with our very first sentence. Gas is usually more cheap than electricity. So what’s wrong with the sentence. Think about it. You might want to pause the episode and think about it on your own and try to figure out what’s wrong with the sentence. Let me say it again.

[00:01:22] Gas is usually more cheap than electricity. Now the problem with the sentence that most one syllable adjectives form their comparatives and super-low motives with ER or EST. We say, my brother is younger than I am, or this is the tallest building in Montreal. Participles used as adjectives are exceptions.

[00:01:46] We say I’ve never felt more bored in all my life. The two front tires look more worn. So these are participles and these are exceptions. We use more or most with them, but here, if we look back, what did we use? We said cheap. And we said more cheap. So do you think that’s possible or do you think that’s okay.

[00:02:09] No, it’s not. This is a common mistake we use with adjectives comparison and what we should say, we should say gas is usually cheaper than electricity. Not gas is usually more cheap than electricity. So that was our first sentence. Let me give you now our second two sentences. He is one of the most rudest men I’ve ever met.

[00:02:32] And the medicine made me feel much more better. What’s wrong with these two sentences. Let me say them again. He is one of the most rudest men I’ve ever met and the medicine made me feel much more better. What’s wrong with these two sentences? Now the problem with these two sentences is that we do not use an ER or ESD form and more or most together it’s either E R E S C or more and most not together.

[00:03:01] For example, rudest is a superlative form and is not used with most better is a comparative form and is not used with more so here, what we said, he’s one of the most rudest we used most with EST. And in the second one, we said much more, better. We said more and better, you might be fooled because better is not a regular comparative, because of course better is to compare the form of good.

[00:03:27] And the support of the form is the best. And since we’re talking about this, let me also tell you about bad. And the comparative form is worse. The superlative form is the worst, but here coming back to better, better is the comparative form. So we use the comparative form in better. We don’t need more. So that’s the problem.

[00:03:47] Instead of he is one of the most rudest men I’ve ever met, we should say he’s one of the rudest men I’ve ever met without most. And then the second one, instead of saying the medicine made me feel much more better, we should only say the medicine made me feel much better. That’s it better without more, we don’t need more.

[00:04:07] And now for the next example, it is oldest university in Europe. Think about it. Pause the episode. Think about it and try to come up with a correction and try to know why, try to think about it and figure out why it is wrong and how we can correct the sentence. It is oldest university in Europe. Now, before it’s super negative adjective like oldest, we normally use the, or a possessive determiner, like my, her there, et cetera.

[00:04:35] For example, we say, this is the tallest building in Boston, the tallest, because it’s the one we’re talking about. Only one here. Have you read her latest novel? So here it’s okay to use a possessive determiner instead of the, like when we said here her latest novel, and when unowned phrase ends with a qualifier, like.

[00:04:54] If we say in Europe, for example, that’s a qualifier. We use the, for example, we say she is the youngest girl in my class, or it is the worst film that I’ve ever seen. So that being said, let’s go back to this example. I gave you. It is oldest university in Europe. We have a qualifier here. And it is a superlative and we don’t have the, and we don’t have a possessive adjective.

[00:05:18] So there’s something wrong. There’s something missing what we should say. We should say. It’s the oldest university in Europe, not oldest on its own. And now let’s move on to two more examples. My most favorite subject is history and cheap products are often more inferior. What’s wrong with these two sentences?

[00:05:39] Let me say them again. My most favorite subject is history and cheap products are often more inferior. So what’s wrong. Some adjectives are not normally used either with E R E S T or with more or most because they have a comparative or superlative meaning already. Someone’s favorite subject for example, is the one that they liked the most.

[00:06:02] So we don’t use comparative and super-creative forms with them at all. Now we have other words that attract this type of mistake, and these words are complete. Equal favorite, ideal inferior, perfect superior or unique. These words have a meaning on their own and the meaning of comparative and Superleague is there already, so they are not normally used with E R E S T or more and most for comparative and super-creative.

[00:06:32] So here, going back to these two examples, I gave you my most favorite subject is history. We don’t say my most favorite subject is history. We just say my favorite subject is history. Because favorite on its own means the subject I liked the most. So we don’t need to use the most. And the next one we said, cheap products are often more inferior.

[00:06:54] Inferior has the meaning of comparative, but we’re talking about something that is better and something that is inferior, something of a higher quality, something of an inferior quality. So inferior on its own. Doesn’t need comparative. We say cheap products are often inferior. Period without more. Now with that being said, let me move to the next example.

[00:07:16] We have talking about adjectives comparison and the common mistakes we usually make when we try to use adjectives in comparative and superlative form. Singapore is cleaner than Hong Kong, but Hong Kong is the most interesting. Now what’s wrong with that? Singapore is cleaner than Hong Kong. That’s fine, but Hong Kong is the most interesting.

[00:07:38] I don’t find any problem with the form itself, but there’s a problem in the meaning. And there’s a problem in the number of people or things we’re trying to compare to each other here. When we compare just to people or things we use E R or more or comparatives, especially in formal styles, we use EST and most, or more than two.

[00:08:00] So here, if we go back to our example, We can see clearly that we’re just talking about two things, which are two cities. In this example, we’re talking about Singapore and we’re talking about Hong Kong. So Singapore is cleaner and that’s good. But then we said Hong Kong is the most interesting. We’re not saying most interesting in the world or in the area or in Asia.

[00:08:22] We’re not comparing Hong Kong to many cities. We’re just talking about Singapore and Hong Kong only two. So we should say more interesting. So again, the sentence should be Singapore is cleaner than Hong Kong, but Hong Kong is more interesting. We’re still talking about two, we’re still comparing two things, two cities to each other, and now let’s move on to the last common mistake I will talk about when it comes to comparison.

[00:08:47] Let’s think about these two sentences together. There are so many good shops that it is easiest for people to buy what they want. And the second sentence, we must not forget that some criminals are the richest people. So what’s wrong with that? Think about it. Maybe pause the episode and think about it.

[00:09:07] Try to figure out how to fix the errors in these two sentences. And why are you fixing the errors this way? When we simply want to intensify an adjective, like what we’re trying to do here, we use very extremely et cetera. We do not use EST or most, unless we are making a comparison. For example, we say Simon’s new computer is very easy to use.

[00:09:31] Very easy to use. There’s nothing to compare it with. I’m just saying it is very easy. We want to intensify an adjective, but that’s what we do. But look at the sentence now of the three computers, the XT two is the easiest to use here. Of course we can use comparative forums. And in this case, superlative.

[00:09:51] Because I’m talking about three computers, I’m comparing three computers to each other. And I came up with a conclusion that the X T2 is the easiest to use, but I’m just talking about three computers. I’m not just talking about one computer and I’m trying to intensify the adjective. So going back to our examples, we said there are so many good shops that it is easiest for people to buy what they want.

[00:10:15] There’s no need to use easiest here. What we should say. There are so many good shops that it is very easy for people to buy what they want. That’s it, it’s very easy. It’s not easiest. We don’t need to use suburbia the form here. And then the second one, we have the same case. We must not forget that some criminals are the richest people.

[00:10:36] We don’t have to say the richest. We can simply say are very rich people. So with that being said, I hope we cleared some of the common mistakes that people usually make when they use adjectives, comparative forms. And now let’s move on to talk about adjective sequence, which can be tricky sometimes because there is a very specific sequence we use adjectives in.

[00:11:00] So let me give you this first example. Each child was given a red, beautiful balloon. You look at this, what’s wrong with that. But here, since we’re talking about adjectives, I want you to focus on the sequence of adjectives in the sentence. Each child was given a red, beautiful balloon. So I described the balloon with two adjectives, red and beautiful.

[00:11:21] What’s wrong with saying red, beautiful balloon. Well, when we use two or more adjectives before, and now we normally put those which express opinions and impressions beautiful before those, which express facts like red. So we say, for example, an unusual pink dress. Now pink is a fact, it’s not an opinion.

[00:11:43] It’s not my opinion about the dress that is pink, and then somebody else will come and think it is yellow. No, it is pink. It’s a fact. But when I say unusual, that’s my opinion. That’s how I see the dress. So opinions come before facts. That’s the first thing you need to know about for sequencing your adjectives.

[00:12:03] And another example, before we move back to this sentence I gave you. A wonderful Italian pizza. Now here, when we say Italian pizza, Italian is not my opinion. Italian is the fact it is Italian. It comes from Italy or the person who made it is Italian, or they made it in an Italian style, et cetera. That is a fact, but what is the opinion here is wonderful.

[00:12:26] So we can say Italian wonderful pizza. We can not use the fact before the opinion. We should use the opinion first. And then we go on and talk about the fact. So a wonderful Italian pizza. Now going back to this example, I gave you each child was given a red, beautiful balloon. Now, you know, red is a fact beautiful is an opinion.

[00:12:47] So we should use the opinion first and we should say each child was given a beautiful red balloon. And now let’s think about these two sentences. She has married a young toll Australian accountant. And it has black short hair and very sharp teeth here. It is a little bit more confusing than the first example, because when we think about it, young toll Australian, they’re all facts.

[00:13:13] They’re not opinions. When we talk about black short hair, we’re not talking about opinions. It’s black, it’s short, these are facts. So how can we sequence our adjectives in this case? Well, there is actually a fixed sequence for adjectives. We start with the size. Age shape, color, origin, material, and purpose.

[00:13:35] Let me give you some examples about the size size. Like when we say small or long age, when we say old or new the shape, when we say round square, et cetera, the color green, white, red, blue, the origin, like when we say German, Italian, French, the material, when we say plastic or silk. And the purpose when we say kitchen or car, that means we use it in the kitchen.

[00:13:59] We use it in the car. Of course, kitchen and car. They’re not adjectives, but they’re nouns that we can use as adjectives. And they’re usually used as adjectives of purpose. Why do we use this? Let me give you an example. An old green kitchen table, an old that’s an age. Color then the green, and then we have the purpose kitchen, and we’re talking about a table that we can use in the kitchen that is green and old.

[00:14:24] And another example we can say about the shampoo, for example, a new German car shampoo. So, and you, that’s the age German, that’s the origin purpose. That’s for cars, not for the hair. It’s not hair shampoo. That’s a purpose adjective, and then shampoo. So once again, you need to take note of this thing specifically, because it’s very difficult to remember, to be honest, and you don’t have to think about it every time you want to make a sentence.

[00:14:54] It’s okay. Sometimes to make a mistake like this is not the end of the world, but if you want to revise your language and if you want to make perfect sentences, you might want to think about the sequence of adjectives that we use in English. We use the size first, the age next, the shape. Then the color, the origin, the material, the purpose.

[00:15:17] And of course, then the now, so here, back when we have those examples, we said young, tall Australian. So young, we use the age tall, we use the size and we know we should use size before age. So that’s the first mistake. And Australian is the origin. It’s fine. We’re using it later. So we should say in the first sentence, she has married a tall, young Australian accountant, not a young, tall.

[00:15:41] And the second one, we said black short hair, we use the color first. And then we use the size, which is short, and that’s a mistake. We use size, age, shape, color. So color comes after size. Obviously we should say it has short black hair and very sharp teeth. So let’s move on to talk about another example.

[00:16:03] The tree was a great comfort during the midday scorching sun. What’s wrong with that here. And noun used as an adjective like midday. He always said a tree was a great comfort during the midday. Scorching sun midday is unowned, but we use it as an adjective. When we do this and noun used as an adjective like midday, it goes immediately before the now, and in this case is the sun.

[00:16:29] So we say, for example, an exciting detective story, expensive leather shoes and excellent evening meal here. We have detective story. Detective is announced and we use it here as an adjective to describe the kind of story leather shoes. We’re talking about leather, which is announced and we’re describing the shoes with it.

[00:16:49] So we are using it as an adjective or evening meal. What kind of meal? It’s the evening. That’s also a noun we use to describe another now. So we use it as an adjective. And when we have nouns used as adjectives, we use it before the noun. It goes immediately before the now, now when there are two nouns used as adjectives, we put material before purpose.

[00:17:13] So here, like we say, a nylon swimming costume nylon is the material. Swimming is the purpose. A cheap plastic medicine cupboard. So cheap plastic that’s the material comes first and then comes the purpose. That’s a medicine cupboard. It’s not to store anything else. And along steel exhaust pipe. So here we have steel, that’s the material and exhaust that’s the purpose.

[00:17:38] So going back to our sentence, the three was a great comfort during the midday scorching sun. We know by now that we should use the midday. Before the now and immediately before the now. So we should say the tree was a great comfort during the scorching midday sun. And now for the next example, and it’s the last example for today, we bought six handmade, very old wine glasses.

[00:18:03] We bought six handmade, very old wineglasses. Well, it sounds awkward, but what’s wrong with it. The problem here is gradable adjectives. Which means those that can be used with very now, those gradable adjectives normally come before an gradable adjectives. For example, we say famous medical school. Now here.

[00:18:24] You’re still thinking I still don’t get it. What is gradable adjective? Well, let’s take a look, a famous medical. Can you say very famous? Yeah, sure. Of course. It can be very famous. It can be famous. That’s okay. So it is gradable. We have many grades for this adjective. It is not just black and white, it could be famous or very famous or extremely famous.

[00:18:47] But what about medical? Can we say it is a medical school? It is a very medical school. Doesn’t make any sense. What does that mean? It’s medical, that’s it? It’s not gradable it’s ungrateful and this is a good example of upgradeable adjectives. So when we use. Gradable adjectives. We usually use them before upgradeable adjectives.

[00:19:08] So in this case, we said famous before medical, because famous is gradable medical is not. And another example, an old carved pictured frame. For carved, it is either carved or not or something else, but we don’t say very carved, but what about old? Of course. Yeah. Old can be old and can be very old. So it is gradable old is gradable carved is not.

[00:19:32] So we use old before carved because all this gradable and carved is not another example. Before we move back to our sentence, a beautiful embroidered dressing gown. The same year. Beautiful can be very beautiful. It is gradable embroidered. Well, it cannot be very embroider. It is embroidered or it’s not.

[00:19:52] So here we use gradable before on gradable and back to our sentence, we bought six handmade, very old wine glasses. What’s wrong with that? Of course we have old that is gradable and handmade. That is upgradable. So we should use old before handmade. So we should say we bought six, very old handmade wine glasses.

[00:20:16] We use old, which is gradable before handmade, which is ungrateful. Well, that being said, I hope that you learn new things that will help you make you are mistakes, especially when you want to talk about adjectives, comparison and sequence. Now, let me remind you that you can find the transcript of this episode in a link.

[00:20:34] I will leave in the description and you will also find a link that will take you to Patreon, where you can become a patron of the show and support English plus podcast and help us continue. And with that, you will have our everlasting gratitude. But not only our gratitude, you will also have our exclusive PDF practice worksheet that is custom made for every single episode we release.

[00:21:00] You will get that if you become a patron on Patreon, so invest in your own learning. And at the same time, support our journey. In English plus podcast with that being said, I would like to thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcast. This is your host, Danny. I will see you next time.

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