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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Grammar question: adjective, superlative, ...    

Grammar question: adjective, superlative, ...



LadyS
Brazil

Grammar question: adjective, superlative, ...
 
Hi, guys,

I have an exercise here to do and 2 questions are not clear.

The exercise is to complete with the comparative or the superlative of the adjectives and it goes:

* James is _________________ than his brother (fat) - why is it only possible to use fatter and not more fat than?

* Roy is that ________________ man in the blue shirt over there (short) - wouldnt it be the adjective and not the comparative or even superlative?

Thanks in advance,

LadyS

13 Jun 2009      



abennie
Canada

You are right-more fat than is also correct. My guess is it is because grammar worksheets tend usually to focus on choosing ONE of two or three choices, therefore because he is MORE something, we add the -er ending to the adjective FAT, making it a comparative. In real conversation though, either way is correct - fatter or more fat.
 
In this sentences, I would put the adjective FAT...he is that FAT man over there (i.e. the other men in the group are not fat, or are not fat and wearing a blue shirt.
So...Roy is that FAT man. The focus is on describing which man you are talking about, he is fat.
 
For fatter or fattest, I would say Roy is THE fatter/fatest man ...over there. The focus here is not just pointing a certain person out, but at the same time comparing how fat he is compared to the other men in the group. In this way, it is a fairly high level, complicated sentence because he is the fatter/fattest who is wearing a blue shirt and who is over there...
 
Hope this helps...
Amanda (ABennie)

13 Jun 2009     



juliamontenegro
Brazil

I agree with Amanda, though we would have to ignore the instructions of the exercise for the second sentence:
"complete with the comparative or the superlative of the adjectives"
This way, using only the adjective = Roy is that FAT man over there.
Good luck!

13 Jun 2009     



Stellam
Argentina

Ladys
The comparative of fat is fatter than. There are grammatical rules for the formation of comparatives. In the present case, fat has only one syllable, and monosyllabic adjectives (and adverbs) form their comparison by inflection (that is by adding -er).
I recommend you read Greenbaum & Quirk, A Student s Grammar of the English Language.
Regards

13 Jun 2009     



rach81
Philippines

Hello every one,
 
This is such an interesting topic. I agree with stellan. " In forming the comparative degree of a monosyllabic adjective, -er should be added. Since fat has only one syllable "fatter is the correct comparative form.
 
In informal language "more fat is correct" but we don t teach informal language in our class, right? Otherwise we shouldn t be teaching rules anymore.
 
 
hugs
 
rach c",)
 

13 Jun 2009     



Apodo
Australia


*You re right short in sentence 2 is an adjective.
 
*More fat than, although it looks correct, does not really sound natural or quite right to most native English speakers.  (because of the syllable rule quoted above by stellam)
 
 
Not to me anyway 8-) 

13 Jun 2009     



donapeter
Romania

I can see here some native English speakers, so.....is it correct "more fat"???? For me is against any grammatical rule that I have learned. Fatter is the only comparative I know for this adjective.
D

13 Jun 2009     



Apodo
Australia

No. It is not correct standard English.

13 Jun 2009     



donapeter
Romania

Thanks!!
I ve understood from your answer that you can use "more fat" in colloquial English, in spoken English...and it is seen as being correct?

13 Jun 2009     



Spagman63
Hong Kong

Fat is a CVC (Consonant Vowel Consonant) word and therefore should take the -er ending.  We don t usually use more with a CVC word. 

13 Jun 2009     



Apodo
Australia

I was being polite to the English speakers who seem to think it s OK.

I think it s wrong. It s like saying He never done his homework . Lots of sloppy speakers may say it, but I would not call it colloquial.

13 Jun 2009     

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