ADJECTIVES / ARTICLES / PREPOSITIONS
Category : 6th Class
Adjectives are the words that describe the qualities of a noun or pronoun in a given sentence.
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
(a) Flowers are plucked freshly.
(b) Flowers are plucked fresh.
Sentence b is correct as, adjective is correctly used with a verb when some quality of the subject rather than verb is to be expressed. Here, fresh describes the word Flowers (a noun) and not plucked (a verb).
RULES REGARDING DEMONSTRATIVE ADJECTIVES:
(a) This mango is sour.
(b) These mangoes are sour.
(c) That boy is industrious
(d) Those boys are industrious.
(a) This girl sings.
(b) These girls sing.
(c) That girl sings.
(d) Those girls sing.
RULES REGARDING DISTRIBUTIVE ADJECTIVES:
(a) I was in Shimla for five days and it rained each day.
Every is used when reference is made to total group or when the number is indefinite.
(a) Every seat was taken.
(b) I go for a movie every week.
(c) Leap year falls in every fourth year.
(a) Each boy must take his turn.
(b) Every word of it is false.
(c) Neither accusation is true.
RULES REGARDING ADJECTIVES OF QUANTITY:
For example: I shall buy some bananas.
Any is used in the negative or interrogative sentences to express quantity or degree.
(a) I shall not buy any bananas.
(b) Have you bought any bananas?
But some is an exception to the above rule. Some is used in interrogative sentences, which are commands or requests.
For example: Will you please lend me some money?
(a) There is little hope of his recovery.
(b) He has little appreciation of hard work.
A little means some though not much. So, use of a little has a positive meaning.
(a) There is a little hope of his recovery.
(b) He has a little appreciation of hard work.
The little means not much but all there is.
(a) The little information he had was quite reliable.
(b) The little knowledge of management he possessed was not sufficient to stand him in good stead.
For example: Few men are free from faults.
A few means some. So use of 'a few' has a positive meaning.
For example: A few men are free from faults.
The few mean not many, but all there are.
For example: The few remarks that he made were very good.
(a) I ate some rice.
(b) There are not enough spoons.
RULES REGARDING INTERROGATIVE ADJECTIVES:
(a) Which of you haven't brought your book?
(b) What manner of man is he?
RULES REGARDING DEGREES OF COMPARISON OF ADJECTIVES:
For example: Anjali is wiser than Rahul.
But if we wish to compare two qualities in the same person then the comparative form ending in 'er' is not used.
For example: Anjali is wise than brave.
(a) Delhi is bigger than any other city in India.
If we say
(b) Delhi is bigger than any city in India.
Then we are saying Delhi is bigger than Delhi as any city in India includes Delhi also. And this is obviously wrong.
(a) Delhi is the biggest of all cities in India.
(b) Of all men he is the strongest.
Kindly note the difference in this and previous rule.
(a) He came later than I expected.
(b) This is the latest news.
Latter and last refer to position.
(a) The last player could not bat as he was injured.
(b) The latter chapters are very interesting.
Latter is used when there are two only, last when there are more than two.
(a) Of Manohar, Syam and Joshi, the latter is a driver. (Incorrect)
(b) Of Manohor, Syam and Joshi, the last is a driver. (Correct)
(a) My elder sister is doing MBA from IIM Ahemdabad
(b) My eldest brother is getting married today.
Older and oldest are used of both persons and things.
(a) This is the oldest building in the city.
(b) Anthony is the oldest boy in the class.
(a) No one discussed the topic further.
(b) Calcutta is farther from the equator than Colombo.
(a) Akshay is inferior to Aamir in intelligence.
(b) Aamir is superior to Akshay in intelligence.
(c) He is junior to me.
(d) Who was captain prior to Azhar?
For example: This is the most perfect specimen I have seen.
(a) Ramesh is stronger of the two boys.
For example: Ram is not as clever as his brother is.
For example: He is more intelligent than you.
(a) Of two evils choose the lesser (not least).
(b) Which is the better (not best) of the two?
(a) The population of London is greater than any town in India,
(b) The population of London is greater than that of any town in India.
Sentence b is correct as the comparison is between the population of London and the population of any town in India.
(a) Seldom had the little town seen a more costlier funeral. (Wrong)
(b) Seldom had the little town seen a costlier funeral. (Right)
(c) Seldom had the little town seen a more costly funeral. (Right)
(a) Coffee is more preferable to tea. (Wrong)
(b) Coffee is preferable to tea. (Right)
(a) No fewer than fifty miners were killed in the explosion.
(b) We do not sell less than ten kg of tea.
(a) It grew hot and hot. (Incorrect)
(b) It grew hotter and hotter. (Correct)
OTHER COMMON RULES:
(a) His written statement differs in several important respects from his oral (not verbal) statement
(b) The boy was sent with a verbal message to the doctor.
(a) We started smoking on the advice of a mutual friend. (Incorrect)
(b) We started smoking on the advice of a common friend (Correct)
It is apparent that there are two or more than two of us. Apart from us, there is a person (friend). Since he is a friend to all of us, this friend is being shared by all of us. So, he is a common friend. Now, look at this sentence.
For example: We started smoking on mutual advice.
It means I advised, you to smoke and you advised me to smoke.
OTHER COMMON ERRORS:
(b) This kind of question is often asked in the examinations. (Correct)
(c) He is as good if not better than his brother. (Incorrect)
(d) He is as good as if not better than his brother. (Correct)
(e) The future do not hold much for you. (Incorrect)
(f) The future does not hold much for you. (Correct)
For example: I saw a doctor, (means I saw any doctor)
For example: an ass, an enemy, an inkstand, an orange, an umbrella, an hour.
(a) An MBA was required for the post.
(b) An SAO is an officer of high rank
For example: a boy, a woman a horse, a one-rupee note, a university, a European (both university and European begin with a consonant sound of 'yu')
(a) We have little time to spare, (means almost no time)
(b) We have a little time to spare, (means some time)
(c) Few persons were present at the meeting, (means almost no one was present)
(d) A few persons were present at the meeting, (means some were present)
(A) In its original numerical sense of one.
(a) Not a word was said.
(b) A word to the wise is sufficient.
(B) In the vague sense of a certain time.
For example: One evening a beggar came to my door.
(C) In the sense of any, to single out an individual as the representative of a class.
For example: A pupil should obey his teacher.
(D) To make a common noun of a proper noun.
For example: A Daniel came to judgement. (A Daniel = A very wise man)
(a) I saw the doctor. (means I saw some particular doctor)
(b) The book you want is out of print.
For example: The Persian Gulf, The Red Sea, The Indian Ocean, The British Isles, The Alps.
For example: The Vedas, The Puranas, The Ramayana.
But we never say 'The Valmiki's Ramayana'. The is not used when the name of a book is mentioned along with the author's m me. So, 'Valmiki's Ramayana' is correct.
For example: the sun, the sky, the ocean, the sea.
For example: Drive away the cows from the field.
For example: The great Rani of Jhansi, the immortal Kalidas.
(a) Sachin is the best batsman in the world today.
(b) The best person should win.
(a) the time for doing it.
(b) occasion to help the distressed.
(a) He was the first student to finish his homework.
(b) The second chapter of the book is very interesting.
(a) The poor are always with us. (Here poor mean poor people, which is understood.)
(b) The weak and the strong. (Here weak means weak people and strong means strong people.)
(a) Man is mortal.
(b) Fish has high protein content.
(c) What kind of flower is it?
For example: The devil in him begins its misdeeds now and then.
(a) Gold is a precious metal.
(b) Wheat grows in Uttar Pardesh, Haryana and Madhya Pardesh.
(c) Iron is a useful metal.
Note: But it is correct to say
For example: An iron is a useful gadget.
Because here we are not taking about material iron, but the object which is used to make clothes smooth.
(a) Delhi is the capital of India.
(b) Newton was a great philosopher.
But consider the following examples where an article is used before a proper noun.
(a) This man is a second Newton.
(b) Bombay is the Manchester of India.
Here Newton and Manchester is not used as a proper noun but a common noun. The first sentence means that this man is as great as Newton and the second sentence means that Bombay is a great manufacturing City like Manchester.
(a) The science has developed much in the past hundred years. (Incorrect)
(b) Science has developed much in the past hundred years. (Correct).
(a) What kind of a hobby is this? (Incorrect)
(b) What kind of hobby is this? (Correct)
(a) Wisdom is the gift of heaven.
(b) Honesty is the best policy.
But consider the following examples where an article is used before an abstract noun.
(a) The wisdom of Solomon is famous.
(b) I cannot forget the kindness with which he treated me.
Here the article is used before the abstract noun as the abstract noun has been qualified by a adjective or adjectival clause.
(a) We are studying English.
(b) Geometry is the toughest subject I have ever studied.
(a) I went to school till last year.
(b) I have never been to hospital.
But an article is used before these words when reference is made to a definite place.
For example: Mother would like to see you.
But If someone else's mother is being talked about then the should be used.
For example: The mother would like to see you.
(a) S D Sharma was elected the president of the country. (Incorrect)
(b) SD Sharma was elected president of the country. (Correct)
(a) I have a black and white cat.
Here I mean that I have one cat that is partly black and partly white.
Now, consider this sentence
For example: I have a black and a white cat.
Here I mean that I have two cats one is black and the other white. Hence the rule is that when two or more adjectives qualify the same noun, the article is used before the first adjective only. But when they qualify different nouns, the article is used before each adjective separately.
Consider one more example.
(a) The President and Chairman is absent.
(b) The President and the Chairman are present.
Sentence a means that only one person is acting as president as well as chairman. Sentence b means that two different persons are acting as the President and the Chairman and both the persons are absent.
(a) I live in Delhi.
(b) I live at Rohini in Delhi.
(a) He is in bed.
(b) He is at the top of the class.
(c) He ran to school
(d) He jumped into the river.
(e) The snake crawled into its hole.
(a) He sat on a chair.
(b) The cat sprang upon the table.
(a) He slept till eight o'clock.
(b) He walked to the end of the street.
(a) He killed two birds with one shot.
(b) He was stabbed by a lunatic with a dagger.
(a) I have eaten nothing since yesterday
(b) He has been ill since Monday last.
From is also used before a noun or phrase denoting some point of time but is used with non-perfect tense.
(a) I commenced work from 1st January
(b) He will join school from tomorrow
For is used with a period of time.
(a) He has been ill for five days.
(b) He lived in Bombay for five years.
(a) I shall return in an hour. (means I shall return at the end of an hour).
(b) I shall return within an hour. (means I shall return before the end of an hour).
For example: Scarcely had he gone, when (not than) a policeman knocked at the door.
For example: Such goods are made for export, and are seldom or never used in this country
(a) This is as good, if not better than that. (Wrong)
(b) This is as good as, if not better than that. (Right)
(c) This is as good as that, if not better. (Right)
(a) Beside the ungathered rice he lay.
(b) Besides being fined, he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment.
(a) The bird flew above the lake. (Wrong)
(b) The bird flew over the lake. (Correct)
Here over is used to denote upward position and movement also.
(a) There are few incidents of irregularity for the emergency years. (Wrong)
(b) There are few incidents of irregularity during the emergency years. (Correct)
(a) Sanath Jayasuria's batting may be compared with the sales of a useful book; they score right from the beginning. (Wrong)
(b) Sanath Jayasuria's batting may be compared to the sales of a useful book, they score right from the beginning. (Right)
(c) If we compare Delhi University to the regional ones, we find the former to be much more efficient (Wrong)
(d) If we compare Delhi University with the regional ones, we find the former to be much more efficient (Right)
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