Posts Tagged ‘English language’

Adjectives Bulletin Board

Adjectives Bulletin Board (Photo credit: Evelyn Saenz)

Good Double Comparatives

Double comparatives are phrases commonly used in English to express increasing or decreasing returns.

Double comparatives are often employed to underline the importance of doing or not doing a certain activity.

Here are some examples:

The more you practice, the better your performance.
The more time you spend talking to an audience, the better you get at public speaking.
The less money I spend, the less I have to worry about debt.
The less you water the garden, the less chance the plants will grow.

As you can see from these examples, the format of double comparatives is as follows:

The (more / less) + (noun / noun phrase) subject + verb +, + the (more / less) + (noun) subject + verb

Notice that with ‘more’ and ‘less’ you are comparing actions.


You can compare adjectives in the same way:

The darker the berry is, the juiciest it is to eat.
The faster the trains are, the more dangerous they are to ride.
The funnier the comic is, the more fun he is to watch.

The + comparative adjective + to be, + the + comparative adjective + subject + verb + (infinitive of purpose)


These forms can be mixed up as well.

It is equally possible to reverse comparative adjectives and end with more / less plus a subject and verb or noun, subject and verb.

The prettier the girl is, the more attention she enjoys.
The happier the mom is, the more the dad can relax.
The more thrilling the new movie is, the less the director worries about making a box office hit.



In spoken English, we also use double comparatives called clichés.

The more the merrier
which means…
The more people there are, the merrier everyone will be.


We can turn the double comparatives into commands:


Study more, learn more.
Eat less, move more

Play less, study more.
Work more, earn more.
Think harder, get smarter.


Bad Double Comparatives

Here are some examples of the incorrect use of two comparative forms together.

This ice cream is more tastier than that sorbet.
He is more funnier than Jack is.
Susan is more taller than Jane.

In this case, ‘more’ is not required as the comparative adjective form. The sentence is modified by the addition of ‘-ier’.

Double Comparatives to Show Change

And finally, double comparatives are also used to show a continual increase or decrease.

There are more and more women attending college these days.
It seems like there are fewer and fewer items being made in America.
Ultimately, people will find more and more time to spend with their families.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about double comparatives. Let me know of any examples you can think of.

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As always, we’re here to offer resources to help in your English language acquisition.

Each of the links below are MS Word documents of  previously taught grammar points. Just click and you’re off…..

You can print out the worksheets or fill it out in MS Word.





 I hope you have fun using these worksheets. Dick and Jane would want you to have fun learning.

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free speech 2

free speech 2 (Photo credit: dogwelder)

Speak and talk, saying the same thing


Speak now or forever hold your tongue  (not literally) remain quiet.

On my journey I was approached by a woman who said, “You speak with nobody on the telephone.” She saw me using my mobile phone and wanted to tell me not to use it inside.  What she should have said was, “You can’t talk on the telephone in here.”

‘Speak’ and ‘Talk’ are often used interchangeably.

‘Speak’ is often used when someone is speaking to a group of people in general.

Examples of various ways to use ‘Speak’ include:

to talk or utter words – “ I was so shocked I could hardly speak.”;

to communicate thoughts or feelings – “I want to speak my mind while I still have the courage.”;

used with languages – “Max speaks both English and Swedish”;

to be on good terms with someone – “We used to speak on a daily basis, but not anymore”;

to make a speech – “My sister will now speak to the crowd to quiet them down.”;

to express something in writing – “His prose speaks of such joy and hope for his people.”;

nonverbal communication – “Their actions speak louder than words.”

to indicate a sign of something – “ Her posture spoke of self confidence and high character.”

Speak also tends to used in more formal situations.

“The President will now speak to the nation in his weekly State of the Union address


Verb Forms: Speak – Spoke – SpokenSpeaking


Do you tend to speak first and then get talked about later?

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Fun With Dick and Jane

Fun With Dick and Jane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Growing up I heard the phrase, “See with your eyes, not with your hands.” as I tried to touch some new glittering item while shopping with my sister. ‘Look’ and ‘See‘ can be used interchangeably, sometimes, but not always.

See Dick catch up and pass Jane.

 As in the previous post – “Look Where This Is Heading”, Look involves intention or expression

On the other hand, ‘See’ involves sight, to see something that comes into our sight or perceive in our mind.

to perceive with the eyes – “Did you see her new sports car?”;

faculty of sight – “I can’t see a thing without my eyeglasses.”;

to examine or watch something – “He asked to see my ID.”;

to comprehend or understand – “ I see what you mean.”;

to realize the existence of something – “I see from your documents that you are Austrian.”;

finding a trait that is pleasing – “My father sees the good in all people.”;

to meet or consult with somebody – “I’m going to see my shrink after lunch today.”;

to meet to raise a complaint – “She asked to see the manager.”;

to picture something in the mind – “I can’t see how she does it with all of those children.”

It is easy to see how these two words can be interchangeable and confusing if not used in the right context. For new English language learners this is just a small introduction into the use of ‘Look’ and ‘See’.

Continue to ‘look’ around this site to ‘see’ what you can find that will help you in understanding and using this wonderful language we call English.

If you have any more tips on how to use ‘Look’ and ‘See’ add them to the comment section.

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I recently returned from a journey to Mecca KSA. It was, as always, a spiritual enlightening experience reminding me and other pilgrims of our limited knowledge and even more inconsequential existence.

Being in such a place surrounded by people from all walks of life; listening to them speaking many languages; watching exhibitions of unfamiliar cultures; and smelling a wide variety of aromas coming from foods and humans, I’m reminded of the Tower of Babel.

Babel, the biblical ancient city where its’ inhabitants, after the Great Flood, were one people speaking one language. Then God, in His almighty wisdom, decided to have them speak many different languages.

He created diversity of our tongues and colors as a sign for those of us who are endowed with knowledge to recognize the wonders of creation. Divided into linguistic groups and unable to understand each other, each group spread out in the lands to set up their own communities.

Today, we have thousands of spoken languages in the world and when these speakers converge in Mecca and are able to communicate with one another by simple gestures or a friendly smile, it is amazing.

To see a woman from a remote village in Kazakhstan communicate with a woman from a big city in America reaffirms how small the world is in which we live. Not only did I know exactly what she wanted, but she understood my response and acknowledged her gratitude.

Verbal communication is important for business, government assistance, and for buying and selling.  It is one of the best ways to quickly get your point across, but non-verbal communication is also essential.

In America, we have ASL or American Sign Language for the deaf and hard of hearing. In the Arab world, there is Arabic Sign Language for the deaf. These two forms of sign language are similar, but there are also a lot of differences just as the spoken languages of these two peoples.

Languages are meant to bring cohesiveness to common groups and to communicate with outsiders. Human language is a learned symbolic communication system. Teaching the English language, I find that new words are invented daily and the meanings of old ones have changed.

New symbols are created just as quickly as its meaning. It’s important to keep up-to-date vocabulary in planning new lessons to keep them fresh, and students excited about learning.

Have you ever been at a loss for words and had to revert to some sort of non-verbal communication to get a point across?

Are you aware of the new additions to the English language, these new words which are really old words in different forms? Like taking yesterday’s leftovers and adding gravy to it to make it a new meal.

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Did you know that the English language really came from German, with a little French and Latin thrown in to make it sweeter?

Check out this funny video on how the English language came about.

The Anglo Saxons

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This That These and Those are considered determiners.

Determiners are words that are used together with nouns to clarify the noun. There are a number of different types of determiners:

This That These and Those are demonstrative determiners because they demonstrate which object is being referred to. For example:     That car over there belongs to Steve.

In this case, ‘that’ identifies or demonstrates which car belongs to Steve.

This / That

Both ‘this’ and ‘that’ are singular and are used with ‘is’, the singular form of the verb ‘to be’.


This computer on my desk was bought in 2010.
That picture on the wall was painted by my sister.

This is always used with something that is near to the speaker. This is often used with ‘here’ to indicate the location near to the speaker.

(Man pointing to a book in his hand) This is my favorite book!
This is my son Bob right here next to my car!


That is always used with something that is away from the speaker. That is often used with ‘there’ to indicate the location away from the speaker.

(Man pointing to a person on the other side of the street) That is my son over there next to Peter.
That is my car parked under the awning at the end of the street.

These / Those

Both ‘these’ and ‘those’ are plural and are used with ‘are’, the plural form of the verb ‘to be’.


These is always used with a number of things that are near to the speaker. These is also used in combination with ‘there’ to indicate a location which is near to the speaker.

(Woman holding three pens in her hand) These are my favorite pens for writing poems.
These cookies are very tasty! (Boy holding two cookies)


Those refers to things (plural) that are located at a distance from the speaker. Those often takes ‘there’ to indicate a location away from the speaker.

(Man pointing to some trees in a field) Those are pine trees over there.
Those dogs in that picture are very excited.


Singular Forms

Use “here” for something which is near to us. – Example: Here is the book in my hand.

Use “there” for something which is far from us. – Example: There is the chair next to the lamp.

Use “this” for one object (singular) which is here (near to us). – Example: This is a cup in my hand.

Use “that” for one object (singular) which is there. – Example: That is his truck over there.

Plural Forms

Use “these” for more than one object (plural) which are here (near to us). – Example: These are my children next to me.

Use “those” for more than one object (plural) which are there. – Example: Those are his boys over there.

Use “there” for one object (singular) which exists – or “is” (near to us). – Example: There is (There’s) a chair next to the window.

Use “there” for more than one object (plural) which exist – or “are”. – Example: There are many people at the party tonight.

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SAT Grammar

SAT Grammar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Try to see how many sentences you can fill in correctly.

“Grammar Banging” – Review your English – 1

Choose the correct word to fill in the gap

1. Are there ______ apples in the kitchen?

                       A) much  B) any  C) some

2. That is _____ interesting book.

                       A) the  B) a  C) an

3. I went ______ church last Sunday.

                       A) at  B) in  C) to

4. What _____ he like? – He is very friendly.

                       A) does  B) did  C) is

5. I ________ a new car last month.

                      A) bought  B) have bought  C) buyed

6. How ________ money do you have in your pocket?

                      A) many  B) few  C) much

7. He came ______ home late last night.

                      A) –   B) at  C) to

8. Jack is a nice boy, and I like _____.

                      A) –  B) him  C) his

9.  I get up ______ seven o’clock every day

                      A) in  B) on  C) at

10. I like __________ music.

                      A) listen  B) listen to  C) listening to

11. What __________ in your free time?

                      A) you do  B) do you do  C) are you doing

12. My father _______ in a bank.

                      A) works  B) work  C) is working

13. Would you like _______ coffee?

                      A) any  B) an  C) some

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