Articles with Adjectives
Article + Adjective working as Noun
When we use definite article ‘the’ before an adjective (of quality), it becomes plural common noun and denotes an entire class. We use plural verb with such nouns.
E.g. the poor, the rich, the honest, the old, the young etc.
The poor are in constant struggle.
In such cases the real noun is hidden and understood.
E.g. the poor = the poor people
Articles with Superlative Adjective
We use ‘the’ before a superlative adjective, if it is followed by a noun or defining phrase (otherwise we often leave out ‘the’, particularly in an informal style).
The darkest cloud has a silver lining. (darkest - superlative adjective; cloud - noun)
This bike is the most expensive in the collection. (most - superlative adjective)
Why did you decide to join this job?
It was (the) best. (informal style) OR
It was the best job.
We also use ‘the’ before a noun (with emphasis) to give the force of a superlative.
You are the man!
The Verb is the word in a predicate. (i.e. the main word)
Articles with Comparative Adjective
If two comparative degrees are directly or inversely proportional to each other, we use ‘the’ before both comparative degrees.
The more gadgets you use, the higher your electricity bill will be.
The more you study, the better marks you will get.
When we make a choice, we use:
comparative degree, if one out of two are chosen.
Pattern: the + comparative degree + of
He is the brighter of the two students.
superlative degree, if one out of many are chosen.
Pattern: the + superlative degree + of
He is the best of all the students.
Concept 1: ‘same’ and ‘whole’
We use ‘the’ before adjectives ‘same’ and ‘whole’.
She is the same girl that sent me a friend request.
The whole year has been wasted by you.
Concept 2: Few and Little
Few and Little gain different meanings when used with different articles.
- Few – almost zero (but not zero).
- A few – Some.
- The few – All that is available.
- Little – almost nothing (but not nothing).
- A little – Some.
- The little – All that is available.
Concept 3: so/as/too/how/quite + adjective
If so, as, too, how and quite are used before adjectives, then we will use ‘a/an’ before the singular noun that follows.
Pattern: so/as/too/how/quite + adjectives + a/an + singular noun
It is too heavy a bat for a young player. (heavy – adjective; bat – singular noun)
Infosys is not so big a company as you think. (big – adjective; company – singular noun)
Extra Books and Tools
Though the matter on our website is in-depth and comprehensive enough for the needs of most of the aptitude exams, but it may also feel daunting for the same reasons. Moreover, some learners prefer books over websites. So, if you are a beginner level English learner, and prefer books, you may explore the following English Grammar books too.
1. Wren & Martin - This book has been around for long and is still considered one of the best. Though many concepts have not been dealt with in much depth here, but beginners may find it a breeze to read. Once you are done with it, the content on our website will work as a rich add-on. If you are getting this book, make sure you get the key to its exercises too.
Link for Indian readers: Wren and Martin
2. More advanced learners may refer to the following books. However, buy them only if you must. Most of your English Grammar learning needs will easily be met by our website.
Essential English Grammar by Raymond Murphy
Link for Indian readers: Essential English Grammar
Intermediate English Grammar by Raymond Murphy
Link for Indian readers: Intermediate English Grammar
Advanced English Grammar by Martin Hewings
Link for Indian readers: Advanced English Grammar
So much so for Englsh Grammar. But what about Comprehension skills and Vocabulary?
We strongly believe that Comprehension skills and Vocabulary are more a matter of practice. The more you read, the better you will become in them. In fact, this will help you in Grammar too. Afterall Grammar rules are just in the nature of temporary scaffholding - the goal is to read, write and speak a language without consciously remembering even a single Grammar rule.
So, we suggest you to read vividly. Ideally, carry some tool with you that you may refer to learn the meaning of any word that is new to you. There are many ways you may go about it.
* The old method: Carry a good dictionary with you. But who does?
* Download a Thesauraus app on your mobile or just google it. Better, but we still need to stop reading, open app, type and then search. Boring!
The methods mentioned above kill the joy of reading. Who wants to stop reading in the midst of an interesting plot and look for the meaning of a word? And if you are a lazy soul like me, oh man! No chance!
That's why I prefer to read on gadgets like Kindle. We may just tap on any word and see its meaning there and then. It's also not taxing on the eyes.
If you guys know about any more such books, gadgets and technologies that are awesome and may help English learners, do share 😇