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Morphological composition of the adjective.


1.The adjective is a word expressing aquality of asubstance.


2. The adjective has the following morphological characteristics:

Most adjectives have degrees of comparison:the comparativedegree and the superlativedegree.1


1 Some adjectives have no degrees of comparison (see 7).


The comparative degreedenotes a higher degree of a quality.

She is tallerthan her sister.

My box is smallerthan hers.


The superlative degreedenotes the highest degree of a quality.

She is the tallestof the three sisters.

Her box is the smallestof all our boxes.


(The noun modified by an adjective in the superlative degree has the definite article because the superlative degree of the adjective always implies limitation.)


Adjectives form their degrees of comparison in the following way:

(a) by the inflexion ‑er, ‑est (synthetical way);

(b) by placing more and most before the adjective (analytical way).

Monosyllabic adjectives usually form their comparatives and superlatives in the first way, and polysyllabic adjectives in the second way.

The following polysyllabic adjectives, however, generally form their comparative and superlative degrees inflexionally:

1. Adjectives of two syllables which end in ‑y, ‑ow, -er, ‑le.

happy happier (the) happiest
narrow narrower (the) narrowest
clever cleverer (the) cleverest
simple simpler (the) simplest


2. Adjectives of two syllables which have the stress on the last syllable:

complete completer (the) completest
concise conciser (the) concisest


3. Some adjectives have irregular forms of degrees of comparison, e.g.:

good better (the) best
bad worse (the) worst
many, much more (the) most
little less (the) least
far farther, further (the) farthest, furthest
old older, elder (the) oldest, eldest

Spelling rules.


1. If the adjective ends in a consonant preceded by a stressed short vowel the consonant is doubled before ‑er, ‑est.

sad sadder (the) saddest
big bigger (the) biggest


2. If the adjective ends in ‑y preceded by a consonant, is changed into i before ‑er and ‑est.

busy busier (the) busiest
happy happier (the) happiest


3. If the adjective ends in ‑e the e is dropped before ‑er and ‑est.

brave braver (the) bravest
tine finer (the) finest


4. The adjective has the following syntactical characteristics: In a sentence the adjective may be used as an attribute or as a predicative.


A little fat chap thrust out his underlip and the tall fellow frowned. (ATTRIBUTES)

Laura was terribly nervous. (PREDICATIVE)

The air was motionless. (PREDICATIVE)


Morphological composition of the adjective.

Adjectives are divided into simple, derivative and compound.


1. Simple adjectives are adjectives which have neither prefixes nor suffixes. They are indecomposable: e. g. good, red, black.


2. Derivative adjectivesare adjectives which have derivative elements, suffixes or prefixes or both: beautiful, foolish, hopeless, unkind, unimportant.


Productive adjective-forming suffixes are:

-less: friendless, harmless, hopeless -ish: childish, foolish
-like: childlike -ed (-d): beaded, blue-eyed


Unproductive suffixes are:

-ful: careful ‑ible: responsible ‑ant: important ‑ous: dangerous
‑en: woolen ‑able: reliable ‑ent: dependent ‑some: troublesome


Productive adjective-forming prefixes are:

un-: unhappy pre-: prewar


The unproductive prefixes of the adjective are:

in-: incorrect im-: imperfect il-: illegal ir-: irresistible


3. Compound adjectives are adjectives built from two or more stems.

The main types of compound adjectives are as follows:


(a) noun-stem + adjective-stem: snow-white.

(b) noun-stem + participle-stem: life-giving, smoke-dried.

(c) adjective-stem + adjective-stem: deaf-mute.

(d) adjective-stem + noun-stem + suffix ‑ed: cold-hearted.

(e) noun-stem + noun-stem + suffix ‑ed: lynx-eyed.

(f) numeral-stem + noun-stem + suffix ‑ed: four-wheeled.

(g) adverb-stem + noun-stem + suffix ‑ed: over-peopled.


Date: 2015-12-24; view: 4477

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