Category Archives: Grammar

Grammar with comics and jokes: Comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives + comic-strip style exercise

In this post we will learn comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives.
And before we start let’s meet Josh. He is very young. He is only three years old.Comparative degrees of adjectives
Josh has a baby sister who is even smaller. Her name is Betty and she is only 11 months old. She is almost 2 years younger than Josh.Comparative degrees of adjectives 3
Betty and Josh have a baby cousin. Her name is Lina and she is only 1 month old. She is the youngest of all.

Comparative degrees of adjectives 4Comparative degrees of adjectives 4 Comparative degrees of adjectives 4Comparative degrees of adjectives 4

When we compare two things we add  ER to the adjective.
When we want to describe something that has the highest degree of a quality among three or more things, we use the superlative degree.Comparative degrees of adjectives 5
Try to do this one. Can you form a comparative and superlative degree of COLD?Comparative degrees of adjectives 6
 Comparative degrees of adjectives 7
 Comparative degrees of adjectives 8
 Comparative degrees of adjectives 9
 Easy, isn’t it?
So what would be the comparative degree of smart?

question
Comparative degrees of adjectives 10                           

Can you form the superlative?
Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  11
 When an adjective is short, we add ER and the EST to it, but do we do the same if an adjective is long? Can we say “comfortabler”? What a mouthful! It is too hard to say. That’s why if an adjective has two or more syllables, don’t use ER and EST.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  12
We use MORE + adj to compare two things.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  13
 And THE MOST + adj in the superlative degree.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  14
Can you form the comparative degree of difficult?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  15
More difficult! And the superlative degree is “the most difficult”. Easy, isn’t it?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  16
And how about famous? This word has two syllables: “Fa-mous”. The majority of two syllable words form their comparative and superlative degrees with more and the most. So what is the comparative degree of Famous?

Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  17
More famous! Can you form the superlative as well?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  18

Of course, it is the most famous!

Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  18
So when we want to compare 2 things, we use the comparative degree of adjectives.When we have 3 or more things and we want to highlight one particular thing in this group which has the highest degree of a certain characteristic, we use the superlative degree.If an adjective is short and has only one syllable, we add ER to the adjective in the comparative form and the EST in the superlative. Some two-syllable adjectives also form comparatives and superlatives with ER and EST. However, if the word is long and has two or more syllables, we add MORE in front of the adjective in the comparative and THE MOST in the superlative degree. We can also use LESS and THE LEAST. They are the opposites of more and the most.
Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  infographic 19
Now some adjectives can be tricky when it comes to spelling.For example, try to form the comparative and the superlative degree of BIG. Since it is a very short one-syllable word we will use ER and the EST.

Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  20
And we will get BIGGER. But notice that the final G is doubled. This always happens when the word ends in a Consonant – vowel – consonant sequence (CVC adjectives). We double the final consonant in order to keep the pronunciation.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  21
Now can you form the superlative form?
The BIGGEST. We will need to double the G once again.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  22
Now try this one. Once again it is a short one-syllable word and we need to add ER and the EST, but like in the previous example here we have a consonant followed by a vowel and another consonant. 

Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  24
So we need to double the T and we will get WETTER. And what will be the superlative degree?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  25
The WETTEST with double T once again.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  26
CVC adjectives are not the only adjectives with a little bit tricky spelling in comparative and superlative degrees.For example, take a look at EASY. It is also a short adjective that forms its comparative and superlative forms with ER and the EST. Can you notice the pattern?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  27

What has changed in the comparative degree? The “Y” has changed to “I”. Can you form the superlative degree? How will you spell it?
Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  1128                   

It will be “THE EASIEST” with an “I” instead of the “Y”.
What about friendly? What are its comparative and superlative degrees?It is one of those two-syllable adjectives that form comparative degrees with ER and the EST but be careful with spelling.
Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  29
One-syllable and some two-syllable adjectives ending in “E” add only “-R” or “-ST”.For example, look at “SAFE”. Can you form the superlative degree?Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  30
It will be “THE SAFEST” with only one “E”.Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  31
So, remember that one-syllable and some two-syllable adjectives ending in “E” add only “-R” or the     “-ST” in the comparative and in the superlative.Adjectives ending in “Y” drop “Y” and add “I” before -ER and the -EST.CVC-adjectives double the final consonant.comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives changes in spelling infographic
There are also several adjectives that form their comparative degrees differently. You need to memorize these forms.For example, “GOOD” in its comparative form becomes “BETTER”.irregular comparatives and superlatives 34
 And in the superlative it is “THE BEST”.irregular comparatives and superlatives 35
“BAD” also changes differently in the comparative and in the superlative degree. Do you know its forms?

BAD COMPARATIVE AND SUPERLATIVE

In the comparative form it becomes “WORSE”. irregular comparatives and superlatives 36

And in the superlative it becomes “THE WORST”. “FAR” also has irregular comparative and superlative forms. There are several more adjectives in this group. For now try to remember these three irregular forms and we will learn more as we go. irregular comparatives and superlatives infographic 37 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives  exercise 40 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 41 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 42   Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 43 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 44 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 4145 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 45 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 46 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 48 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 49   Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 50 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 51 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 52 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 53 Comparative  and superlative degrees of adjectives exercise 54   way to go

This is also available as a grammar slideshow from Slideshare. Please, like, comment and share if you enjoyed this post, so that I can create more of what you like and find of use. Smiles 🙂

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in a video that was made for the university I am currently teaching at.

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Relative Pronouns with comics and jokes: who, which, that, when and where

We use relative clauses to provide more information about a person, a thing or a place.

We use WHO to give more information about people.

Relative pronouns in comix and jokes - who

We use WHICH when we want to provide more information about a thing.

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - which

We can use THAT instead of WHO  or WHICH.

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - THAT

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - THAT

We use WHERE for places.

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - THAT

And WHEN for time.

Relative clauses with comics and jokes - THAT

NB! When we add more information about something by using a relative clause, we use the article THE, not a/an

Also notice that we put the relative pronouns immediaty after the noun about which we are giving more information.

If you want to see all this gathered together and more, then check the  grammar s-show below that I created for my B1 students. I used comic strips and jokes to explain and to illustrate  the use of relative clauses and relative pronouns. As always, at the end of the slideshow there is an exercise to practice the skills and to check understanding.

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in a video that was made for the university I am currently teaching at.

To Like and To Be Like

“What does she like?” and “What is she like?”

These two questions can be very confusing for learners. This slideshow will  bring some clarity to the use of “To Like” and “To Be Like”.

The slideshow also includes an exercise to practice the skills and to check the understanding.

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in the video that was made for the university where I am currently teaching:

USED TO for past habits and routines

I made this slideshow to explain the use of USED TO to my B1 students, it seemed to help them quite a bit.

The slideshow also includes a gap-fill exercise to practise the skills.

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in the video that was made for the university where I am currently teaching:

Using too much/too many, (not) enough and very

Being able to express the reason, cause and result of actions is essential in any language. In English we use too, (not) enough, very, too many and too much for this purpose and they can be pretty confusing for learners. The following slideshow clearly explains the difference between them and includes a gap-filling exercise to practice the use of each in real context.

You can also hear me going through the slideshow in the video that was made for the university where I am currently teaching:

Conditional sentences, type 0, 1 and 3 – Grammar game

CONDITIONAL BATTLE FIELD
Aim To practise the use of conditional sentences type 0, 1 and 2
Interaction Groups of 3, 4 or 5 students
Exercise type: Filling in the gaps, correcting mistakes
Language: B1
Time: 15 – 25 minutes
Materials: A marker and a whiteboard, a set of question cards for the class.
Procedure:
  1. Project on a whiteboard a slide with a 4*5 grid in which each cell is numbered in order from 1 to 20. Alternatively, you can draw a 4*5 grid on a board and number each of its cells.

Conditionals Grammar Game

  1. Cut up the questions handout so that each card features one question.
  2. Divide the class into teams of three or four. Each team needs to select an easy-to-draw symbol (a circle, a star a triangle, a smiley face) or a letter to represent them.
  3. Tell the students that the 20-square board is a piece of land that they  are  trying to conquer. In order to conquer each piece of land the students need to correctly answer a question on the card.
  4. The teams decide the order in which they will play the game (for this purpose, the students can roll dice, play rock-paper-scissors game, or draw pieces of paper with numbers corresponding to the number of teams).
  5. Each of the teams draws a question card from the pile, collaboratively, the teams decide on an answer. Allow a certain amount of time then, ask each of the teams to read their question card aloud to the class and to suggest an answer.
  6. If the question is answered correctly, the team can draw their symbol in the square corresponding to the number of the question.
  7. If the answer if incorrect, the teacher collects the question card without giving the correct answer and puts the card at the bottom of the pile, later this card has to be drawn again by one of the teams.
  8. The game is over when all question cards have been answered.
  9. The team that manages to put their symbol in the greatest number of squares, wins.

The game is available from download from Slideshare and here >>>  CONDITIONAL BATTLE FIELD

Conditional Sentences Type 0, type 1 and type 2 + exercises

The slideshow covers the cases of use and the structure of Conditional sentences type 0, type 1 and type 2, it also explains the differences between each type and includes a gap-fill exercise to practice all three types of conditional sentences.

And here is another comics-style exercise to practice the use of conditional sentences type 2 (unreal present, regrets about the present).

And here is a matching exercise to practice the use of conditional sentences type 0, 1 and 2.  You need to  match the phrases on the left with the phrases on the right to make sentences. You also need to put the verbs in brackets into the correct form to make conditional sentences type 0, 1 or 2. 

You can cut it up for bodily-kinesthetic learners so that they can move the parts of the sentences and line them up on the table to make conditionals.

The hand out is available for download from slideshare and from here >>

 

Wacky stories – Comminucative ESL Game to practise vocabulary and tenses.

Wacky Stories
Aim: To practice vocabulary, all 12 tenses and conditional sentences (adjustable). To practice storytelling techniques (building suspense, flash-backs, flash-forwards, etc.)
Interaction: Groups of three or four
Exercise type: Speaking, storytelling
Time: 15 minutes
Language: Depends on the level of Students
Level: A2 – C2
Materials: 1 set, cut up per group (the set can include as many cards as you decide and may vary depending on the level of the students).
Procedure: In this activity the students make a chain story, using the words and images on the cards, as well as the tenses or grammar structures indicated on them. With a little imagination and sense of humor from your students this game can get hilarious. If you want to emphasize the use of tenses and grammar structures, there is an extra tense component on each card, this component instructs the students not only to use a noun, a verb or an adjective on the card but to construct the sentence in a certain tense. This can bring into the story flash-backs and flash-forwards (so you may need to pre-teach these storytelling techniques first).

  1. At the beginning of the game each of the students has 6 cards. The rest of the cards are placed on a desk in a pile face down.
  2. The students have a couple of seconds to look at their cards. To determine the order in which the students will play the game, they will draw from a bag that contains pieces of paper with numbers on them (see the chart below), the student who draws number 1 from the bag, goes first. Alternatively, they can play a hand game of rock-paper-scissors or roll a dice or toss a coin.
  3. The fist student starts telling an imaginary story using the vocabulary on the cards that s/he has and also putting the sentences in the tense indicated on these cards. Every time the student uses a word or an image on the card, s/he places the card face up in front of her/him and on a piece of paper writes down the points earned for playing each card. If the student manages to use the word on the card, the student earns one point, for using the indicated grammar structure, the student gets additional 2 points. Each student can play as many cards as they can in each turn, but they cannot be speaking for more than 2 minutes in one turn.
  4. The student who goes next has to continue the story that the first student started but use the words that s/he has on her/his cards.
  5. The third student continues the story.
  6. When the students are out of cards, then at the next turn each of them can pick up three cards from the pile. If they cannot continue the story, they miss their turn. If a student picks up three cards, but can play only one or two, the student gets to keep the unused cards and can play them at the next turn.  
  7. The game ends when there are no more cards left in a pile or when the time set for the activity is over.
  8. Each of the students counts the points on the cards they have played   during the game. The student with the top score wins.

The printable handout can be downloaded here >> Wacky Stories – Comminucative ESL Game
The game is also available for download on slideshare:

Too, (not) enough, many, very, too much/many + exercises

In this slideshow I used comic strips to explain the use of too/(not) enough/very/ too many and too much.
The slideshow also includes an exercise to practice their use.

 

[YouTube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRVX5gtZIpE]

Second Conditionals Communicative Game

GUESS WHO YOU ARE/ GUESS WHAT YOU HAVE – SECOND CONDITIONALS

Aim:
To practise the use of second conditionals and vocabulary for technology, devices, gadgets, professions and everyday objects.

Interaction:
Pairs or small groups
Exercise type:
Speaking, guessing words
Language:
B1
Grammar:
Second conditional
Vocabulary:
Technology, devices, gargets, appliances, professions, every day objects
Time:
15 minutes
Materials:
A set of cards with pictures and words on them.
Procedure
1. The class is divided into pairs.
2. Each of the students gets a set of six cards with words or images on them.
3. The students need to keep the cards to themselves only, and should not show them to anyone.
4. In each of the pairs one of the students picks one of his/her cards without showing it to the others and without telling the others what the word is. Another student has to guess the word from the clues given by her/his partner.
5. All the clues must be given in the form of the second conditional, the students need to pretend that the person who is trying to guess the word already has this object/thing or is that person.

second conditionals game
For example,
Card:
Firefighter
Clues:
If I were you, I would wear a uniform, a mask and I would carry the heavy air-tank on my back.
If I were you, I would drive the fire truck.
If I were you, I would save people and their houses.
Student, who needs to guess the word:
I am a firefighter.
Card:
Wrinkles
Clues:
If I had many of them, I would look old.
If I were an old person, I would have a lot of them.
If I had them, I would buy a lotion to get rid of them.
Card:
Glass
Clues:
If I were you, I would use it to drink juice.
If I were you, I wouldn’t drop it.
If you worked in a bar, you would have to carry many of them every day.

6. The students take turn giving clues and guessing words.
7. The game continuous until all words are guessed. Alternatively, the teacher can set a time limit and the student who has guessed the most words wins.
8. The game can also be played in groups of three or four.

A printable handout with teacher’s notes can be dowloaded here (>>Guessing game to practise second conditionals<<) and is available on Slideshare

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