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Modifiers and Comparisons
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  1. Modifiers and Comparisons

  2. Degrees of Comparison • Positive Form: base form, no comparison • Comparative Form: compares two people or things using more or -er • Superlative Form: compares three or more people or things using most or –est

  3. Examples • Positive: Sam is likely to win the contest. • Comparative: Sam is more likely to win the contest than is Jerry. • Superlative: Sam is the most likely member of the team to win the contest.

  4. Rules • Most one-syllable words use –er or –est to create the comparative and superlative forms • Most two-syllable words do as well; however, if the word sounds awkward, try using more or most • Use more or most with three-syllable words • Fit, fitter, fittest • Careful, more careful, most careful • Comfortable, more comfortable, most comfortable

  5. Some words are considered irregular in comparative and superlative forms These words alter their spelling or change completely in comparative and superlative forms Positive: far (degree, time) Comparative: further Superlative: furthest Positive: little, many, much Comparative: less, more Superlative: least, most Positive: good, well, bad, badly, ill Comparative: better, worse Superlative: best, worst Positive: far (distance) Comparative: farther Superlative: farthest Irregular Comparisons

  6. Double Comparisons • The comparative form is created using more or –er, but not both. • The superlative form is created using most or –est, but not both. • Avoid wording such as more better, most largest, etc.

  7. Incomplete Comparisons • Make sure you are comparing what you intend to compare. Ex. The Eastern Shore Center is better than any shopping center in the area. The Eastern Shore Center is better than any other shopping center in the area. Not using the word other suggests that the Eastern Shore Center is not actually a shopping center.

  8. Incomplete Comparisons Example: • The student has more awards than anyone. • The student has more awards than anyone else. Not using the word else suggests that the student is not a person.

  9. Incomplete Comparisons Example: • Jason’s hair is longer than Catie. • Jason’s hair is longer than Catie’s hair. Not incorporating the phrase Catie’s hair (or an alternate phrase) indicates that Jason hair is longer than Catie rather than his hair being longer than her hair.

  10. Double Negatives • Only one negative word is needed to express a negative idea. Example: • Don’t like nothing—doesn’t like anything • Wasn’t getting nowhere—was getting nowhere • Isn’t nothing—is nothing • Aren’t no—are no

  11. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers • Make sure your modifiers are modify the correct word Example: • The skaters slipped on the ice performing a tricky number. • The skaters performing a tricky number slipped on the ice. The skaters were performing the tricky number. The first sentence indicates that the ice was performing the tricky number.

  12. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers • Reading all day, my headache worsened. • Reading all day, I developed a terrible headache. The modifying phrase reading all day should be placed adjacent to what it is modifying. Did my headache read all day or did I?

  13. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers • The word only must be placed adjacent to the word or group of words it is modifying. Determine the meaning of each of the following sentences: 1. Sadie plants her garden in the summer only. 2. Sadie plants her only garden in the summer. 3. Only Sadie plants her garden in the summer.