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2.1 Grammar

(Kappaleesta 2.2 Kielioppia löydät tämän kappaleen asiat suomeksi.)

Listen to the text.

In this lesson, we will look at three things: Adjectives, Adverbs, and Relative Pronouns.

(Tässä kappaleessa tarkastelemme kolmea kielioppiasiaa: adjektiiveja, adverbeja ja relatiivipronomineja.)

A. Adjectives and Adverbs

                                                                          Photo by rbarenblat
Read the following sentences:
  • Carl has dark hair.  Which word is an adjective?
  • Cindy walked across the street quickly.  Which word is an adverb?
An adjective tells us what something is like. It answers the question "What is something like?"
An adverb tells us something about the time, place or manner of how something is done. It answers questions like "When? Where? How? How much/many?" Adverbs often end in -ly.
You can make many adjectives adverbs by adding -ly:
  • Cindy is a quick walker.
  • Cindy walks quickly.
Adjectives and adverbs also have comparative and superlative forms. Look at these sentences:
  • Carl's hair is darker than Cindy's.
  • The darkest day of the year in Finland is often December 21.
  • Homemade food is more nutritious than fast food.
  • The most nutritious vegetable is spinach.
What are comparatives and superlatives? They have to do with comparing things, for example, X is good, Y is better, but Z is the best! Comparatives usually end in -er or use the word more. Superlatives usually end in -est or use the word most. It is important to remember to use the article the with both superlative forms.
When do you add the ending -er /-est and when do you use more and most? In the sentences above we had
  • dark, darker, the darkest
  • nutritious, more nutritious, the most nutritious
Because dark is a short, one syllable word, you use -er/-est. Nutritious has more syllables so you use more/most.  There are certain exceptions you should remember because many of them have to do with very common words. One group is two-syllable adjectives that end in -y. Notice the spelling:
  • happy, happier, the happiest
  • healthy, healthier, the healthiest
  • ugly, uglier, the ugliest
Notice the spelling of some short words such as
  • big, bigger, the biggest
  • sad, sadder, the saddest
  • red, redder, the reddest
In addition, there are some words where the comparatives and superlatives look very different.
  • good, better, the best
  • bad, worse, the worst
Also study these comparatives and superlatives:
  • well, better, the best
  • much, more, the most
  • little, less, the least
Now, let's look at what else you need in a sentence when you compare things. In comparatives you usually compare two things. When those two things are the same, you use as - as. When they are different, you use than. Superlatives let you compare more things.
  • Carl's hair is as dark as his father's. Carl's hair is darker than Cindy's.
  • Apricots are as nutritious as oranges. Watermelon is more nutritious than oranges.
One more thing about superlatives: you can go up and down in the scales of comparison more - the most and less - the least. For example,
  • Here is a good plan: more exercise and less fast food!


You can practice comparatives and superlatives with more words at the website http://www.perunakellari.fi/kompsup.htm.
Let's look at this again on the Internet. Look at webpage 1 about Adjectives at the site  http://www.ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/adjectiv/adjectiv.htm and do the exercise at the bottom of the page.
There is more about Adverbs at the website  http://www.ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/adverbs/adverbs.htm. Take a look at Pages 1 and 2 and do the exercises at the bottom of these two webpages.
Record your success in your learning diary.
 Photo by Shaunnz


B. Relative Pronouns

The most common relative pronouns in English are that, which, who, whom, and whose. The relative pronouns join two clauses together and act as the subject or the object of the verb. When you talk about a person, use who or that. When you talk about things, use that or which.  Sometimes that can be left out. Whose is the genitive form of who. Whom is used instead of who when it is the object of the verb or with a preposition. Which can be used after a preposition but that cannot. Which can also be used to refer to the whole main clause. 
Look at the following sentences:
  • Jogging is a hobby that many people like.
  • People who like to jog buy many pairs of shoes every year.
  • The shoes which are used for jogging can be very expensive.  
  • Jogging, which is not my favorite hobby, is good for you.
  • Joggers, whose lifestyles are healthier than mine, might live longer.
  • The joggers, whom we see every morning, live near the sports complex.
  • The park, in which they run, has some exercise equipment for stretching.
  • The jogging shoes my brother bought last week gave him blisters.
  • Many people jog several times a week, which keeps them in shape.
Can you say why a certain relative pronoun was used in that particular sentence?
Sometimes you use a comma (,) in front of the relative pronoun and sometimes you don't. Here's why: There are two kinds of relative clauses, defining and non-defining (or they can be called restrictive and non-restrictive - same thing). A defining relative clause has to be there for you to understand the sentence correctly. There is no comma before the relative pronoun. A non-defining relative clause is extra information and can be left out, and you place it after or between commas. That is not used in non-defining clauses - that means there is no comma before that.
The relative pronoun that can be left out in a non-defining relative clause if it is not the subject of the verb in that clause.
You can read more about this topic at the website  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/645/01/ If the text seems too difficult, at least look at the examples and do the exercises.


Here are some exercises to test your knowledge:

Can the relative pronoun be left out? http://wwwedu.ge.ch/cptic/prospective/projets/anglais/exercises/relpron.htm

Gap-fill multiple choice: http://wwwedu.ge.ch/cptic/prospective/projets/anglais/exercises/relpron2.htm 

Why do you choose the given pronoun? http://www.cityu.edu.hk/elc/quiz/relativ2.htm

Report your success in your learning diary!



Exercise 2.1

Comparatives and superlatives / Komparatiivit ja superlatiivit

Report on your success with the net-based exercises below. (Raportoi alla, miten nettitehtävien teko onnistui). Write in English!
Tehtävä arvioidaan S/K.



Exercise 2.2

Relative Pronouns / Relatiivipronominit

Report on your success with the net-based exercises below. (Raportoi alla, miten nettitehtävien teko onnistui). Write in English!
Tehtävä arvioidaan S/K.




Exercise 2.3

Using Adjectives

Use the adjectives below in full sentences. Write ten sentences using a comparative and ten using a superlative form of the given adjective. (Käytä annettuja adjektiiveja kokonaisissa virkkeissä. Kirjoita kymmenen virkettä käyttäen annetun adjektiivin komparatiivia ja kymmenen superlatiivimuotoa.)
Tehtävä arvioidaan arvosanalla 4-10.
1. active
2. bright
3. busy
4. careful
5. dangerous
6. expensive
7. fearless  
8. fresh
9. good
10. interesting
11. light
12. messy
13. numb
14. optimistic
15. proud
16. quick
17. rough
18. sad
19. tough
20. unhealthy  


Exercise 2.4 

Using Relative Pronouns

 Let’s practice using relative pronouns in sentences. Choose the correct alternative. (Harjoitellaan relatiivipronominien käyttöä virkkeissä. Valitse oikea vaihtoehto.)
Tehtävä arvioidaan arvosanalla 4-10.


1. That is the nurse gave me a tetanus shot last spring.

2. I don’t know the name of the clinic at my cousin works.

3. I couldn’t read the prescription the doctor wrote.

4. The receptionist asked me I wanted to see.

5. David had to have many tests done made him very nervous.

6. He may have to go to the new speciality clinic opened last month.

7. Doctor Reno I was speaking of, never wears a white coat.

8. The assistant works with my dentist was Toni’s classmate.

9. Most people don’t like a doctor  hands are cold.

10. The physiotherapist showed Janet some exercises  she could do at home


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