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英语中对人或事物进行比较主要是通过可分等级的形容词和副词的比较结构来体现的。

一、比较级和最高级的构成

1. 通常,单音节词和部分双音节词在词尾加-er构成比较级,加-est构成最高级。以-e结尾的词一般加-r和-st构成其比较级和最高级形式。以“辅音+-y”结尾的词,通常变y为i,然后加-er和-est构成其比较级和最高级形式。以一个辅音字母结尾的词,将这字母双写,再加-er和-est构成其比较级和最高级形式。

e.g. small – smaller – smallest; large – larger –largest; heavy – heavier – heaviest; big – bigger – biggest

2. 三音节及以上的词只能在词前加 more构成比较级,加most构成最高级。

e.g. careful -- more careful -- most careful; important -- more important -- most important  

3. 加前缀un-而产生的的三音节词仍可以 在词尾加-er构成比较级,加-est构成最高级。

e.g. unhappy – unhappier – unhappiest

4. 由-ed分词转化成的单音节形容词,通常只能加more/most构成比较级和最高级。

e.g. pleased – more pleased – most pleased; tired – more tired – most tired

5. 特殊变化形式

下列形容词和副词,其比较级和最高级为不规则形式:

 

原级 比较级 最高级
good/ well better best
bad/ ill worse worst
many/ much more most
little less least
far farther/ further farthest/ furthest
old older/ elder oldest/ eldest

【注1】farther,farthest 不同于further,furthest。前者主要表示距离,后者主要表示程度。

【注2】older 和oldest不同于 elder 和eldest,前者多指年龄、时间、年代的长久,后者指兄弟姐妹之间的长幼关系。另外,elder还有“老资格的,具有权威的”等含义。

二、比较级和最高级前的修饰语

1. 比较级形容词和副词前可用 much, far, hardly, no, a lot, still, ever, a little, twice, five times 等表示程度的状语修饰。

e.g. I) He is fat, but his brother is still fatter.

II) He is a great deal taller than I.

2. 最高级形容词或副词与序数词及far, by far等连用,可加强语气。

e.g. I) It’s Japan’s third largest city.

II) Football has become by far the most popular sport in the world.

3. 在相同程度比较中,前一个as 前面可加just, quite, nearly, almost和一些表示倍数的词如twice,three times,half等。

e.g. I) The house is about three times as big as ours.

II) We have a third as many students as we had last semester (学期).

三、比较级用法

1. 比较级一般用来表示“比……更……一些”这类概念,通常用一个由连词than引起的状语从句来表示和什么相比。为了避免重复,从句中有些成分可以省略,而把相比的部分突显出来。

e.g. I) He is more concerned about others than about himself. 他关心别人甚于关心他自己。

II) It takes less time to go there by bus than by boat.

【注】在用比较级时,一定要注意比较对象的对应性。为了避免重复,我们常常用that, those, one和ones这样的代词,可数名词单数可以用that或the one代替,复数名词可以用those或ones来替换,不可数名词可以用that代替。

e.g. I) The suggestion (建议) you made is more practical (实用的) than the one Mary made.

II) The girls in your class are more active than those in our class.

2. 比较级形容词前面加the,后跟of 短语,表示两者间“较……的一个”。

e.g. I) He is the stronger of the two?

II) Dorothea was the more beautiful of the two.

3. 几个特殊的比较级结构

a) more and more …: 越来越……

e.g. I) Your English is getting better and better.

II) I walked faster and faster.

b) The more …, the more …: 越是……就越……

e.g. I) The busier he is, the happier he feels.

II) The more you practice, the easier you get.

c) more or less: 大体上,或多或少

e.g. It is an hour’s journey, more or less.

d) more … than …: 与其说……,不如说……

e.g. Music is more a way of life than an interest. 音乐与其说是一种兴趣,不如说是一种生活方式。

e) more than: 不止,不仅仅

e.g. He is more than a friend to me.

f) no more … than …: 不比……更……,和……一样不……

e.g. Mary is no more diligent than Helen (is). 玛丽和海伦一样都不用功。

【比较】Mary is not more diligent than Helen (is). 玛丽不如海伦用功。

g) 有些形容词后要用to 不用than, 且本身没有比较级和最高级形式。这类词有:senior (年长的,资格较老的), junior ( 年少的,地位低的), superior (更优越的), inferior (劣等的)等。它们的名词如superiority等也具有比较意义,后接to而不接than。

e.g. This product is superior to that one.

三、最高级的用法和意义

最高级形容词前通常应要用the, 或this, that, these, those以及物主代词等,并有一个短语或从句表示在哪个范围内情况如此。

e.g. I) Autumn is the best season here.

II) It was the cheapest hotel we could find.

但在下列几种情况下, 形容词最高级前可不用这些词,有时则可用a(n)。

1. 该最高级用来加强语气,表示“非常,极其”的意思,但有时可加不定冠词。

e.g. I) It is a most touching story. (= It is a very touching story.)

II) It was most (= very) stupid to act like that.

2. 作主语补足语的最高级只表示同本身相比较, 并且无一定范围时,其前面不用定冠词。

e.g. I) We are busiest on Tuesdays.

II) Vegetables (蔬菜) are best when they are fresh.

四、同级比较

同级比较主要有如下表达方式。

1. as ... as 和它的否定结构not as (so) ... as

e.g. I) Consequently (结果),he was still as poor as before.

II) She is not so talkative (爱说话的) as before.

2. as... as 中间出现名词词组,其词序应为:形容词+ a/an +名词词组或限定词 + 名词词组。

e.g. I) We will give you as much help as we can.

II) I’m as good a cook (厨师) as she is.

3. 如两件事物完全相同,可以用the same (as)表示,其前还可用exactly, virtually, more or less, much, nearly等修饰。

e.g. I) “Red” is pronounced the same as “read” in English.

II) She’s doing the same course as me.

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