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Comparison is a variation of the adjective to express different degrees of quality; as, wise, wiser, wisest; good, better, best.

There are three degrees of comparison: the positive, the comparative, the superlative.

The positive degree ascribes to an object the simple quality, or an equal degree of the quality; as, "A mild winter"; "She is as good as she is beautiful."

The comparative degree ascribes to one of two objects a higher or lower degree of the quality than that ascribed to the other; as, "A milder winter than usual;" "Mary is less studious than Emma."

The superlative degree ascribes the highest or lowest degree of the quality to one of more than two objects; as, "The mildest winter ever known "; "The least skillful rider could do no worse."

The suffix ish, and the words rather, somewhat, etc., denote the possession of a small amount of the quality; as, bluish, rather young, somewhat uncomfortable.

The words altogether, far, by far, vastly, much, very, exceedingly, almost, a little, too, very, slightly, greatly, etc., denote a high degree of the quality without implying comparison; as, very useful, exceedingly •* welcome, a most valuable invention.

Adjectives denoting qualities which cannot exist in different degrees, cannot, with propriety, be compared; but when not taken in their full sense, they may be used in the comparative and superlative degrees.

Ex. — Blind, deaf, perfect, right, level, square, straight, perpendicular, equal, naked, honest, sincere, hollow, empty, dead. • "My sincerest regards"; "Our sight is the most perfect of our senses."



In ascending comparison, the comparative and superlative degrees are regularly formed, —

By adding to the positive of monosyllables, r or er for the comparative, and st or est for the superlative; as, wise, wiser, wisest; hard, harder, hardest.

By prefixing to the positive of adjectives of more than one syllable, more for the comparative, and most for the superlative; as, honorable, more honorable, most honorable.

Most adjectives of two syllables ending my or le, after a consonant, or accented on the second syllable, form their comparative and superlative degrees like monosyllables; as, holy, holier, holiest; gentle, gentler, gentlest.

Some adjectives of two syllables, ending in a vowel or liquid sound, form their comparative and superlative degrees like monosyllables; as, handsome, handsomer, handsomest; narrow, narrower, narrowest.

Some words are expressed in the superlative degree by adding the suffix most; as, hindmost, innermost.

In descending comparison, the comparative is formed by prefixing less, and the superlative by prefixing least, to the positive; as, wise, less wise, least wise.

Some adjectives are compared irregularly; as, good, better, best; bad, worse, worst.

Monosyllables are sometimes compared by prefixing more and most; as, " A foot more light, a step more true." Scott.

Two or more adjectives modifying the same word may be compared by prefixing more and most to the first; as, " The more nice and elegant parts"; "Most potent, grave, and reverend seigniors." — Shakespeare.

Rule XII. — An adjective belongs to some noun or pronoun.

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i. An adjective, and why?

2. Descriptive or definitive, and why?

3. Compare it, if it admits of comparison.

4. Degree of comparison, and why?

5. What does it describe or define?

6. Rule.


Every diligent boy received merited praise.

"Every" is an adjective, it is a word used to describe or define the meaning of a noun; definitive, it defines without expressing any quality; distributive pronominal, it represents objects taken separately; it cannot be compared, and belongs to "boy." Rule XII.—"An adjective belongs to some noun or pronoun."

"Diligent" is an adjective; descriptive; it describes, a noun by denoting some quality; compared, pos. diligent, comp. more diligent, sup. most diligent: positive degree, and belongs to " boy." (Rule XII.)

"Merited" is an adjective; descriptive; compared, pos. merited, comp. more merited, sup. most merited: positive degree, and belongs to "praise." (Rule XII.)

Many a fine intellect is buried in poverty.

"Many a" is an adjective; definitive; indefinite pronominal, it refers to objects in a general way, it cannot be compared, and belongs to "intellect." (Rule XII.)

"Fine " is an adjective; descriptive; compared, pos. fine, comp. finer, sup. finest; positive degree, and belongs to " intellect." (Rule XII.)

The first two engravings are American harvest scenes.

"The" is an adjeltive; definitive; definite article; it cannot be compared, and belongs to "engravings." (Rule XII.)


"First" is an adjective; definitive; numeral, it denotes number; ordinal, it marks the position of an object in a series; it cannot be compared, and belongs to " engravings." (Rule XII.)

"Two" is an adjective; definitive; numeral; cardinal, it denotes the number of objects; it cannot be compared, and belongs to "engravings." (Rule XII.)

"American" an adjective; descriptive; it cannot be compared, and belongs to "scenes." (Rule XII.)

"Harvest" is an adjective; descriptive; it cannot be compared, and belongs to "scenes." (Rule XII.)

The weather is pleasant. "Pleasant" is an adjective; descriptive; compared, pos. pleasant, comp. more pleasant; sup. most pleasant; positive degree, and belongs to "weather." (Rule XII.)


Parse the nouns and adjectives in the following sentences: — 1. Aloud report was heard. 2. Fearful storms sweep over these beautiful islands. 3. Life is but a vapor. 4. These walks are quiet and secluded. 5. I feel sad and lonely. 6. The fields look green. 7. He took a twofold view of the subject. 8. Either road leads to town. 9. Each soldier was a host in himself. 10. Both horses are lame. M. Such a law is a disgrace to any state. 12. Repeat the first four lines in concert. 13. One story is good until another is told. 14. The Australian gold fields are very extensive. 15. The floor was formed of six-inch boards.

16. None think the great unhappy but the great. — Young. 17. Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting. — Wordsworth. 18. To make a long story short, the company broke up and returned to the more important concerns of the election. — Irving. 19. Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front. — Shakespeare. 20. For nine long years, session after session, we have been lashed round and round this miserable circle of occasional arguments and miserable expedients. — Burke. 21. Dim with the mist of years, gray flits the shade of power. — Byron.

22. Can storied urn or animated bust,

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath ?— Gray.

23. With secret course, which no loud storms annoy,
Glides the smooth current of domestic joy. — Goldsmith.

24. My opening eyes with rapture see
The dawn of this returning day.

25. With many a weary step, and many a groan,

Up the high hill he heaves a huge round stone. — Pope.


Caution I. — Do not use "a" before vocals, or "an" before subvocals and aspirates.

Write correctly:

1. A or an hundred cents make one dollar. 2. Mr. Perry is a or an humorous person. 3. She is a or an heroine. 4. We traveled through a or an open country. 5. We are now a or an united people. 6. That is a or an historical fact. (Use " an " before h when the following syllable is accented.)

Caution II. — Omit the article before a word used as a title or as a mere name.

Write, inserting a correctly:

1. —rascal formerly meant — servant. 2. He is—better mechanic than — sailor. 3. They gave him the title of—duke. 4. We shall vote for Mr. Webster as — senator. 5. What kind of— man is he? 6. I have — sort of — misgiving about it.

Caution III. — Observe that "the" denotes a particular one, or is used to distinguish one class or species from another, and that "a" denotes one, but not a particular one.

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