Learning English Grammar
This page contains a quick and simplified, but effective, English Grammar lesson about Adjectives, Adverbs, Articles, Nouns, Conditional, Comparative, Superlative, and the Plural. Try to go through the whole page, because it contains very important aspects about English, and might help you with your most important expressions. Make sure to check our Learn English page, which contains several lessons that might help you in your learning process.
An adjective describes a noun, and usually come before the noun, in many languages adjectives change from singular to feminine and plural, but that doesn't happen in English, so it's very easy to use adjectives. You can understand the size and color of a noun just from the adjective before it.
Examples: the white house. (white here is an adjective telling us the color of the house)
The tall man (tall here is an adjective telling us the size of the man)
Also, adjectives can help you know what people think about a noun (something or someone).
Examples: he is a nice person, she is a beautiful lady, it's a good lesson. (nice, beautiful and good are all adjectives showing us the opinion of others).
Types of Adjectives
There are many types of adjectives, some of them express: Size (big, small, tall, short, little ...), Color (black, white, green, blue, red ...), Age (old, young ...), Origin (French, British, American ...), Time (early, late …) ...etc.
Click here for Adjectives List.
To compare two things we usually add (…er than) to the adjective, for example the rabbit is fast, the turtle is slow, to compare them we say: the rabbit is faster than the turtle (superiority). Or the turtle is slower than the rabbit (inferiority).
Superiority is when you start with the higher thing you want to compare. Inferiority when you start with the lower thing or person compared.
So you must remember to add (er) to the adjective and then place (than) after the (er). My brother is taller than me. It's very easy! (adjective+er) + than.
Note that some words with two syllables or more take a different form, especially if they don’t have a “y” at the end. Example
Exercise A is difficult, and exercise B is not very difficult, so we say: Exercise A is more difficult than Exercise B, (you cannot say difficulter), usually words with two syllables are longer. So whenever you feel a word is longer than one syllable and doesn’t end in “y”, use the second form which is: more + adjective + than.
Note that there are some exceptions, that's why you need to look at the table below.
If a word of one syllable is ending in 'e' then add –r at the end.
nice becomes nicer
If a word has one syllable, with one vowel + consonant at the end, then double the consonant and add –er.
big becomes bigger
If a word has two syllables, and is ending in 'y', then change 'y' to 'i', and add -er at the end.
tasty - tastier
The following words change entirely: Good becomes better, bad becomes worse, far becomes further
freedom is better than slavery
If a word has two syllables or more, and is not ending in 'y' then place 'more' before the adjective.
difficult becomes more difficult
The superlative is different from the comparative because it makes a comparison between one thing or person and the rest (more than two). So it’s not only a comparison between (one and one) but (one and many). Example: Emanuel is the tallest student at school. Emanuel is not only taller than one person, but the tallest in the whole school.
To form the superlative we add (the ~est) and put the adjective in between them: (tall becomes the tallest, small becomes the smallest, high becomes the highest), very easy! the + (adjective+est)
Note that there are some small exceptions:
If a word of one syllable is ending in 'e' then add –st at the end.
nice becomes the nicest
If a word has one syllable, with one vowel + consonant at the end, then double the consonant and add –est.
big becomes the biggest
If a word has two syllables, and is ending in 'y', then change 'y' to 'i', and add -iest at the end.
tasty – the tastiest
The 3 Irregular adjectives: Good becomes the best, bad becomes the worst, far becomes the furthest
freedom is the best
If a word has two syllables or more, and is not ending in 'y' then place the most before the adjective.
difficult becomes the most difficult
I think Couscous is the tastiest dish in the world; Russia is the largest country, but not the most populated place in the world.
The adverb tells you (how, why, when, where) something happened. Usually an adverb is formed from an adjective, and you simply need to add the suffix (-ly): quick becomes quickly, easy becomes easily (note that "y" becomes "i" before adding "ly"), happy becomes happily...
Note that some adverbs don’t need to take (-ly), like: hard, fast …etc
Adverbs can come before adjective: He is actually tall.
Adverbs can come before other adverbs if they’re modifying them: she pushed him really hard.
Adverbs can modify nouns it’s really a nice house, as you have noticed there is an adjective between (really) and (a house).
Some adverbs indicate intensity (how strong or intense something was): almost, entirely, extremely, highly, partially, practically, strongly, totally, very …
I entirely agree with you, we strongly recommend this website.
-Some adverbs indicate duration (how long something happened): briefly, forever, shortly, permanently, temporarily …
She can’t wait for you forever, she would like to live in the USA permanently, but is temporarily working in Japan.
These adverbs indicate a degree of frequency or how many times you do something …, we will start with the most frequent, and we will end with the least frequent:
Always, constantly, usually, generally, normally, regularly, often, frequently, sometimes, periodically, occasionally, now and then, once in a while, rarely, seldom, hardly ever, almost never, never. Also you can use the expressions: daily (every day), weekly (every week), monthly (every month), yearly (every year) …
Heusually speaks English, but sometimes he speaks Spanish with his wife, and once in a while speaks German with his friend from Germany, but never speaks Russian because he can’t speak it. He travels to Mexico monthly or every two months with his wife because he lives in Texas.
Some adverbs can indicate the manner in which something was done or happened, usually this kind of adverbs take (-ly): badly, quickly, beautifully, smoothly …
The cake was decorated beautifully and everything was going smoothly, the cook was trying to cut the cake quickly, but he dropped it on the floor, so his day ended badly.
Adverbs of place are: here, there, inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs… Examples: We will stay here with you, while the rest stays there, we feel warm inside, but I think our friends outside will need some umbrellas because it’s raining, I will go and look for them downstairs and if I don’t find them I will look upstairs.
Adverbs of probability are used to express how likely it is for something to happen: Probably, certainly, definitely, maybe, perhaps, possibly … Note that probably, maybe, perhaps, possibly mean that the person is not sure if the thing will happen or will be done.
-Will you come to the party?
-Probably! (it means maybe I will come, and maybe not, other similar expressions are maybe, perhaps, possibly...)
-Can you call me if you’re not coming to the party?
-Definitely! (also certainly can be used, which means that I’m sure that I’ will call whether I decide to come to the party or not).
-Some adverbs indicate time, such as: today, yesterday, now, later, soon, already, still, finally… Examples:
Finally school is opening today, yesterday was the last day of vacation, I still wish that the vacation was longer, because exams will start soon, and we will be tested later.
Click here for Adverbs List.
Articles in English are easy to use than in many other languages, they are: "a (or an)" and "the", the first one is indefinite article, the second one is definite article.
As mentioned earlier "a (or an)" are indefinite articles, they are used when referring to something not known to the person you're talking to, or something not mentioned before in the same discussion: I have an apple and a banana. We use "an" with words starting with these vowel (a, e, i, o, u), and "a" with the rest, note that sometimes we need to use "a" even if a word start with "u", like university for example, we used "a" because it is pronounced like "youniversity", so it's as if this word starts with "y" and not "u". Also the word "honest" should go with "an" even if it starts with "h", because we pronounce it as "onest" which starts with "o". So we say: a university, and an honest man.
The indefinite article “a” and “an” can also be used with professions: he is a teacher. (his job is a teacher).
You use the definite article "the" when the thing you're talking about was already mentioned before: Once upon a time, there was a prince and a princess, the prince was 22 years old, and the princess was 19. There are some other times when you use "the", but you don't have to worry about them right now.
Sometimes you don't need to use an article at all, especially when talking about general terms: life is beautiful (it's not common to say the life is beautiful), people are generally nice. Also no article is used when talking about countries... Note that countries containing "states, kingdom, and republic" need articles:
The conditional tense is used when an action depends on another action. Sometimes the action is real (like in Conditional Type I), and imaginary (like Conditional Type II).
Conditional Type I
The first conditional is used to express situations based on fact in the present or future, things that may happen in reality.
If it snows tomorrow, I will not come to school, the sentence can also be reversed as: I will not come to school if it snows tomorrow.
I will jump if you jump (future + if + present) or: If you jump, I will jump (if + present + future).
So the structure of the conditional 1 is: (future + if + present), or (if + present + future). Note: never use “will” with “if”.
The second conditional is used to express unreal situations in the present or future.
If I were you, I would apologize to her. (but I'm not you, so the condition is not real). Again you can reverse the sentence: I would apologize to her if I were you.
The structure of the conditional 2 is: (if + past + would + present) or (would+ present + if + past).
The 3rd conditional is used to express conditions in the past that didn't happen, usually the expressions (could have, should have, would have) are used especially when there is a regret or criticism of a past action.
For example someone who is blaming his brother for not helping him on his homework two days ago, so he says: If you had helped me on my homework, I wouldn't have failed the exam. (So this means that the real situation now is the opposite, his brother didn’t help him on his homework, and also this means that he failed the exam).
Another example: If you hadn’t listened to me, you would have lost all the money. (But it seems that he listened to him, and that he didn’t lose the money)
The structure of the conditional 3 is (if + past perfect + would + present perfect) or (would + present perfect + if + past perfect).
A noun is a word talking about a person, a thing or an abstract idea. A noun can also answer the question of "who or what".
Who lives in the house? - David, (David = Noun), also house is a Noun.
What do you have in your hand? - A book (Book = Noun), also hand is a Noun.
These also are nouns, example: cat, dog, milk, brother, county, pen.
There are different types of nouns:
Abstract nouns: freedom, friendship, idea ... (you can't see them so they're called abstract).
Common nouns: man, woman, mouse, school, paper... (Talking about people, places, and things)
Gerunds: you can change a verb to become a noun when you add “ing” to the end of the verb, “speak” is a verb, speak + ing = speaking (noun). I like to write (verb), I like writing (noun).
Examples: go => going, live => living, drive => driving.
Nouns are 2 types, countable, and uncountable, Countable is used for things that you can count (one banana, a spoon, an orange), you can say one banana, two bananas, three bananas, so that means that banana is a countable noun.
Uncountable is when you cannot count the noun, milk for example is uncountable, because it is a liquid. You cannot say “one milk”, “two milks” ... so that means milk is uncountable, that means you can only say: milk, some milk, a lot of milk ...etc. If you want to use countable expressions to uncountable words then put a countable noun before it, for example you can say: I want 2 cups of milk (cups are countable, you can use it before milk), you cannot say "two milks".
A singular noun means a noun referring to one person, one thing or one place …, if you want to refer to more than one person, thing or place, you need to use the plural.
If you have (one pen + one pen), then you cannot say “I have 2 pen”, you have to use the plural, and say “I have 2 pens”, you see that we added “s” to the end of “pen”.
Other examples: House => houses, one computer => two computers, a friend => some friends, my sister => my sisters.
English is very easy when you want to use the plural, most of the time you just need to add “s” at the end.
But you need to know that if the end of a word in singular is (-ch, -x, -s, -sh, z) you will have to add “es” not only “s”, for example: one church = two churches, fox => foxes, kiss => kisses...
There are some other rules you need to know, but in general cases you only need to add one “s” at the end of the nouns. Remember you only can make the plural of nouns, unlike other languages such as Spanish, French or Arabic, English adjectives or adverbs don’t have the plural form. (only nouns), for example you cannot say: I have two reds cars. The correct way is: I have two red cars. (red doesn’t add “s” at the end).
I hope the content of this page was useful to you, and that you learned some rules from the English Grammar lesson especially about Adjectives, Adverbs, Articles, Nouns, Conditional, Comparative, Superlative, and the Plural. Try to practice them to be able to use them in your daily conversation. Make sure to check our Learn English page, which contains several lessons that might help you in your learning process.