Lesson 1 - Grammar - DIFFICULTIES

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Adjectives, Comparison, Overview.

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  1. Sailing is as/more/most difficult than canoeing.
  2. Fishing is easier/demanding/easy than yachting.
  3. Writing an e-mail is not as time-consuming as/than/to writing a traditional letter.
  4. Creating a computer website seems to be quite economical/more economical/equally economical than placing an ad in a newspaper.
  5. There are fewer/less/a few Asian immigrants in the USA than in Australia.
  6. The weather in Melbourne is much/rather/less predictable than in Edinburgh.
  7. For me, repairing a computer is not as sophisticated like/as/to repairing a car.
  8. The stage was more/very huge, much bigger than we had thought.
  9. Downloading a film from the internet takes much more/many more/equally much time than I thought.
  10. Starting a computer is as least complicated/complicated/less complicated as starting a mobile.

Finish the following statements:

  1. If the adjective consists of more than 2 syllables, like beautiful or useful, for the comparative structure, we use more + the adjective, or less + the adjective like in examples: ...
  2. If the adjective consists of 1 or 2 syllables only, we add the –er ending for the comparative structure like in examples...
  3. If we want to compare 2 things using the positive or negative structure of …. (not) as + adjective + as … , the adjective is in the basic form, like in points:...
  4. If we want to compare countable nouns, we use fewer instead of less. This is the case in example...
  5. Some adjectives should not be graded as in the example...
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There are some adjectives that already have a comparative or superlative meaning so they are hardly ever used with –er/-est, more/less or most/least. These include complete, equal, favourite, ideal and unique.

An exception to the rule above: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” (George Orwell: Animal Farm)

Compare the following activities:

  • Surfing the Internet/ watching TV
  • Playing computer games / reading books
  • Playing Board games / playing RP games
  • Spending holidays in the tropical countries / spending holidays in the North Pole
  • Eating at home / eating out

Write down your own sentences:

To say that if one thing changes, another thing changes as well, we can use the following structure:
The longer you are in this country, the less likely you will ever come back.
The more you study, the less you know.

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Comparison and contrast. Look at the examples and memorize as many as you can:

Here are some other structures expressing comparison and contrast.

  1. by contrast …………….
    15 years ago, the international situation was not very favourable in “Europe, today, by contrast, it is more favourable.
  2. on the contrary ………
    A lot of people thought that the unemployment rate was dropping, on the contrary, it is still very bad.
  3. on the one hand ….. on the other (hand)….
    On the one hand, industry is developing very fast, but, on the other hand, the unemployment rate still remains high.
  4. if….. then…
    If industrial enterprises need financial aid, then farmers need more aid.
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Read the following sentence structures (a-g) that are used to compare things.
a. Both …. , but while the first…, the second…
b. Both …., the first, however, being ……… and the second …….
c. X describes …, while/whereas Y describes …….
d. A is something that ………, and B is something that…….
e. Although both …….., the first ….and the second …….
f. C differs from D in that ……
g. The difference between A and B is that…./lies in…..
From : Advanced English Practice B.D. Graver, Third Edition, Oxford University Press, p.212

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Expressing Similiarity and difference. Look at the examples below, and memorize as many as you can:
B. Structures expressing similarity and difference:

  1. .….. like …..
    Poland like France is an agricultural country.
  2. As with ….
    As with all the other aspects, this one deserves much attention.
  3. similar to/different from …. in (respect of)
    The depression of the 1930s was similar to the one in the late 1990’s in respect of the unemployment level.
  4. One (point of ) similarity between X and Y is that……..
    One point of similarity between Poland and Ireland is that both are Catholic countries.
  5. One difference between X and Y is that X ….. while Y…….
    One difference between Poland and Britain is that Poland is a religious country while Britain is mainly indifferent to religion
  6. differ in terms of (as regards, in respect of)...
    The current situation differs from the situation in the 1930s in terms of economic growth.

compiled from: English for writers and translators, Robin Macpherson, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, p.79-81

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