Lecture 25 Comparison and Comparative Constructions
When appearing in comparative constructions, adjectives and adverb take special grammatical forms which are called “forms of comparison”. • 25.1 Comparison of adjectives and adverbs • There are three degrees of comparison: positive/absolute degree, comparative degree and superlative degree. The first is just the base form of an adjective or adverb. The second and third may be regular or irregular. • 1) Regular comparison of adjectives • Comparison in relation to a higher or the highest
degree is expressed by the inflected forms in –er or est, or by their equivalents with more or most, the former is known as the synthetic form and the latter the analytic form. • Disyllabic adjectives may have either –er/est forms or more/most forms except for those ending in –y and –ow which more often than not take the synthetic forms. • e.g. ---clever cleverer/more clever, cleverest/most clever • ---happy, happier, happiest • ---narrow, narrower, narrowest.
2) Regular comparison of adverbs • Comparison of adverbs is similar to that of adjectives. Adverbs of one syllable form their comparative degree in –er and their superlative in –est. Adverbs of more than one syllable usu. take more and most forms. • 3) Irregular comparison of adjectives and adverbs • There are only a small number of adjectives and adverbs whose comparative and superlative degrees take irregular forms. These include bad, good/well, old, far, much, badly.
1. 在以-er结尾的形容词中，eager和proper只能用more + 形容词；此外，下列双音节形容词可以用-er形式，(也可以用more形式，而此种形式看来正在广泛地使用)：quiet, common, solid, cruel, wicked, polite, pleasant, handsome。 • 要求用-er形式的大多数形容词，也可以有more/most形式，这些形容词在作表语并在后面跟一个than引导的分句时，用more形式较为常见。 • e.g. John is more mad than Bob is. • He is more wealthy than I thought. • 当对一个人或物地两种性质对比时，只用more形式，而不用-er形式。 • e.g. She is more proud than vain.
然而，对许多单音节形容词来说，使用more形式比较罕见：bad, big, black, clean, fair, far, fast, good, great, hard, high, low, old, quick, small, thick, thin, tight, wide。 2. old规则-er形式older—oldest，在句中处于定语位置时，特别是在指家庭成员的出生先后时，通常用不规则形式(尤其在英国英语中)来代替：My elder/eldest (older/oldest) sister is an artist. • 然而，elder不是真正的比较形式，因为它后面不能跟than： • My brother is three years older/*elder than me. • Elder/eldest必须指人：This viola is the older/*elder.
3.有些副词的变化形式与形容词相同，如good, bad, far, much, little；badly—worse—worst; well—better—best; little—less/lesser—least; much—more—most • far—farther—farthest 表示有形的距离； • --further—furthest 任何意义上，比较常见。 • Worse作为badly的比较级用在：He behaves even worse than his brother. • 但是，badly的比较级与need, want连用时，在英国英语中必须用more形式： • e.g. I really need that job more badly than you (美国英语也可用worse)
4.well/ill +分词构成的复合词既可以用er形式，也可以用 more形式。 • Well-behaved --more/most well-behaved • --better/best-behaved 更为正式，更为人们喜欢。 5.有些和形容词形式相同的副词采用-er形式，如fast, hard, late, long, quick。拼写和语音规则也相同：early—earlier—earliest。 • 以-ly结尾的开放类副词不用-er形式：quickly--*quicklier/quickliest; more/most quickly 6.often的比较形式有oftener, oftenest，不过不及more often, most often常用。
7.有时候，形容词的-er形式可以起到-ly副词的比较级作用。7.有时候，形容词的-er形式可以起到-ly副词的比较级作用。 • e.g. That’s easier said than done. = … more easily… • Speak clearer! = …more clearly. • 人们不反对用形容词的比较形式，却反对不用原级副词，而用原级形容词。 • ？Speak clear! [= speak clearly]
8. as … as • John behaves as politely as Bob (does). • 如果重复从句中的助动词，就能使从句的意义得到强调；如果省略从句中的助动词，主句意义被强调。 • e.g. He is as strong as a horse. 是强调他的力气，不是马的力气。 • She is as hard as rails. 她身体很结实/冷酷无情。
9. more: determiner, pron. (comparative of many/much) [of, than]: • e.g. As he grows weaker, he spends more of his time in bed. • Less: determiner, pron. (comparative of little) [of, than]: a smaller amount; not so much. • e.g. Why have I got less than you? • Can we have a bit less noise/less of that noise? • She’s less of a fool than (not so foolish as) I thought.
10. more than • 1)+数词，表示“…以上”、“…有余” • e.g. More than 100chemical elements are know to man; of these, about 80 are meatals. • 反义词是Less than，“少于…”、“不到…”“在…以下” • 2)+名词/名词性从句/起名词作用的动词不定式，翻译为“不只、不仅仅、超过、远不止、不同于”。 • e.g. Peace is much more than the absence of war. 不仅仅意味着没有战争。 • 3)+动词，译成“十分、大大地、远远地、深为、极大地、岂止是、不仅仅”。 • e.g. He more than smiled, he laughed outright. 他岂止是微笑，简直是大笑。
More than … can/could译为“不能”。More than=not。 • e.g. That’s more than I can tell you, sir. 这一点我是不能告诉您的。 • 4)+形容词/副词，语义上表示很高的程度，常常可以译作“非常、十分、更加、深胃、岂止、不仅仅”。 • e.g. He is more than selfish. = very selfish • She is more than old-fashioned, she was antediluvian. 不单是守旧，她简直是个老古董。 • I am more than happy to hear that.
11. no more than 1)+数词，并不表示不确定的数目，而是表示准确的数目 其功用在于表达说话人言其少的口气，相当于only, mere， 一般可以翻译为“仅仅、才、只不过、跟…一样少/小”。 • e.g. No more than 3 people came to my class, unfortunately. 2)之所以误用，是因为它在形式上完全对应于汉语的“不多 于”。同时，混淆了与not more than的区别。后者没有特殊 的口气，只是客观地表达“不多于、不超过”，从此结构看 不出说话人言其多或言其少的口气来。 • e.g. The water is not more than five feet deep at any point. • Poison enables the snake to get its food with little effort, no more effort than one bite. (强调用力之小)
毒液能使毒蛇毫不费力的获取食物，只要咬一口就行了。 • He was so poor that he had no more than $100. • 只有100美元了。 3)nothing more than具有与no more than相同的语气，也可以翻译为“仅仅、只不过”。 • e.g. The thermostat is nothing more than an electric switch that opens and closes itself at the proper temperature. • 恒温器只不过是一种到达适当温度就自动开关的电闸。
12. no +形容词/副词的比较级+than结构里，其意 义和口气在于强调形容词或副词的反面性质。 • No less than是no more than的反义词，其作用仅在于表达说话人“言其多”的口气，可以翻译为“多达、高达”=as much/many /high as。 • e.g. No less than 3 people offered to buy it.有三人之多购买它。 • He paid no less than $10,000 for it. • Not less than客观的表达“不少于”，当然有可能多于。 • e.g. There were not less than 10,000 visitors at the exhibition that day. 不少于10000人。
13. A is n times larger than B = A is n times as large as B • Your house is three times the size of mine. • =Your house is three times as large as mine. • =Your house is three times larger than mine. • Five times as many people came to the demonstration as (did) last time. • Five times more people came … • 参加示威游行的人是上次的五倍。
14. more … than • 1)最常出现在有比较状语从句的句子里： • Most of them are at home than (are) abroad.他们之中留在国内的比出国的多。 • The time passed more quickly than (it passed) last year. • 2)比较两种说法的正确程度，前一种说法(more A)比后一种说法(than B)更正确一些，翻译为“与其说B不如说/毋宁说A”“不大象B倒象A” • e.g. He is more good than bad. = It is more accurate to say that he is good than that he is bad. • 在这种句型里，more+adj./adv.并不构成形容词/副词的比较级。一大特点是，不能以形容词/副词的比较级的后缀形式出现。
e.g. I was more angry than frightened. 与其说害怕，不如说生气。 • 不等于I was angrier than frightened. • More…than还可以与名词、代词、动词或介词短语连用。 • e.g. It’s more a poem than a picture. • not more … than • Rachel is not more courageous than Saul. • 雷切尔不如索尔勇敢即索尔比雷切尔勇敢。 • 雷切尔比索尔更勇敢即两个人都勇敢。此意是Rachel is more courageous than Saul.的否定句。
15. no more … than • 1)此类句型的特点是：than后面的从句在形式上是肯定的，从意义上则是否定的；表面上表示不同等的比较，实质上表示等同关系。 • e.g. A fool can no more see his own folly than he can see his ears. 蠢人不能自知其蠢，就像不能自见其耳一样。 • You’re no more the queen than I am Julius Caesar. 你不是女王，就像我不是凯撒一样。 • 2)no more … than常常用来表类比，即用人们熟悉或已知的事物去比喻不熟悉或未知的事物。
He is no more a god than we are. 他不是傻瓜，就如同你不是傻瓜一样。 • He is no more a fool than you are. 他和我们一样，也不是神。 • They are no more scholars than my baby (is). 他们不是学者，就像我的婴儿不是学者一样。 • 3)但是，当more作限定词（如more books）或名词短语的中心语时(e.g. more of the books)，no more…than含义为：和…一样少、仅仅跟…一样多 • Paul has no more friends than I have.(only as few as) 一样少 • Tom got no more (of the votes) than he needed. (=only as many as) 仅仅得到所需选票。
16. less … than • 如同more … than并不是总作“比…多”一样，less…than也并不总作“比…少”解。 • More A than B与其说B，不如说A。 less A than B具有相反的意义，即more B than A，“与其说A，不如说是B”。 • e.g. He was less hurt than frightened. 与其说受伤，不如说受惊。 • It was a curious exchange, less a debate than a quarrel between two aggressive men. • 这是一次奇特的交谈，与其说是两个好斗的人之间的一场辩论，不如说是一次争吵。
17. no less…than与no more … than相反，是用来进行肯定的，既肯定前项，也肯定后项。 • e.g. He is no less guilty than you. 他和你同样有罪。 • A whale is no less a mammal than a horse is. • In war no less than peace, food was an important influence.在战争期间，如同在和平时期一样，粮食具有重要的影响。
18. more often than not：经常、往往、大半 • not起着代分句的作用，它引导的从句是一个否定的比较从句。 • e.g. He was found out more often than not. 他经常被发现有错误。 • =More often than he was not found out. • More often than not we lay awake all night. 经常通宵不眠。
19. not so much … as • 用法和意义上相当于less … than，此短语并不是表示肯定一项而否定另一项，而是表示两项兼而有之。换言之，常常用来比较两种说法的正确程度，(as)后项更正确些。 • e.g. His success is no so much by talents as by energy. 他的成功与其说是由于才能，不如说是由于精力。 • The great use of a school education is not so much to teach you things as to teach you the art of learning. • 学校教育的最大效用，与其说在于教你知识，不如说在于教你学习方法。
Not so much as “连…都没” • e.g. He didn’t so much as thank me for returning his money that I found. 我把我拾到的钱还给了他，他连声谢谢都没有说。 • He hadn’t so much as his fare home. 他甚至连回家的路费都没有。 • I don’t know him, indeed I have not so much as heard his name. 实际上，连他的名字我都没有听说过。
20. the … the • The higher the standard of living and the greater the national wealth, the ____ • A. the greater is the amount of paper is used • B. greater amount of paper is used • C. amount of paper is used is greater • D. greater the amount of paper used • 在the…the结构中，如果谓语动词是联系动词be，可以省略。
The younger is the child, the more is the child’s need of sleep. • The stronger ___ magnet, the greater the number of lines of magnetic force. • A. of B. the C. is the D. is of the • FALSE • B • 从句(第一个the…)中的谓语动词，不管是be，还是其它动词，都不用倒装(连系动词be经常省略)。因此，上面例句is位置是不正确的。
而在主句(第二个the…)中，主语和谓语既可以采用正装语序，也可以采用倒装语序。作者可以根据结构特点和信息焦点的分布来安排语序：而在主句(第二个the…)中，主语和谓语既可以采用正装语序，也可以采用倒装语序。作者可以根据结构特点和信息焦点的分布来安排语序： • e.g. The later you arrive, the better the food is. • The more socialism spreads, the stronger become the forces of peace. • The more I think about it, the less I like it. • The noisier they were, the better was their mother pleased. • The higher we go up a moutain, the smaller and lighter are the grains of dust around us.
一般的比例句与汉语语序一致。但是，英语比例句有时是主句在前，从句在后，跟汉语语序相反。一般的比例句与汉语语序一致。但是，英语比例句有时是主句在前，从句在后，跟汉语语序相反。 • e.g. I play the better, the more I practise. 越练习，弹得越好。 • They liked the book better the more it made them cry. 这本书越使他们落泪，他们就越喜欢它。 • 请注意，当主句在前时，形容词或副词比较级前的副词the常常省略。 • e.g. Vibrations became weaker the farther they go. • They became the hungrier the harder they worked. • = The harder they worked the hungrier they became. 干得越起劲，就越饿。