Grammar Handout 1 ADJECTIVES and ADVERBS (III) (Intensifiers)

Grammar Handout 1
(Note to the Instructor: Please do this handout after you finish LL-Int Unit 5.3).
TASK 1. Read the following text and fill in the blanks with the correct forms of the words given in
parentheses. Do not forget to make the necessary changes. Add words where necessary.
The Titanic was an Olympic-class passenger liner which is owned by British
shipping company White Star Line. The Titanic looked like her older sister
Olympic; however, she was much (1) more impressive than (impressive) the
Olympic. At the time of her construction, she was (2) the largest (large)
passenger ship in the world. She was also (3) the most technologically
(technological) advanced ship that had ever been built. This was the reason why
many people thought it would never sink.
The Titanic was a lot (4) more sophisticated than (sophisticated) all the other ships of her time. In fact,
she was really (5) luxurious (luxurious). She offered an on-board swimming pool, a gymnasium, a squash
court, a Turkish bath, verandah cafés, libraries and elevators. All the first-class rooms were decorated
(6)beautifully (beautiful) with wood paneling and expensive furniture. Some first-class passengers paid up
to $4,350 for a one-way ticket to New York.
On the morning of the day that the Titanic sank, the steamers the Amerika and the Mesaba sent the Titanic
messages and warned her that large icebergs lay in the Titanic’s path. However, the two wireless radio
operators who were on duty that day did not take these warnings (7) seriously (serious) and these messages
failed to reach the bridge. These two operators were not aware of the approaching danger. Apparently, the
Titanic was traveling (8) dangerously (dangerous) close to an iceberg field. She was also going too (9) fast
(fast) to stop or avoid hitting the iceberg. Then came the disaster.
Shortly before midnight on 14 April 1912, the Titanic hit a (10) huge (huge) iceberg and sank two hours
and forty minutes later. This was one of (11) the most deadly/the deadliest (deadly) sea disasters of all
time. The dramatic death toll was due to the fact that the ship did not carry enough lifeboats for everyone
aboard. It carried 20 lifeboats with a total capacity of 1,178 people. However, there were (12) more (many)
people on board (2,240 people). Another problem was that the lifeboats were not ready to be lowered into
the water right away. This was (13) worse than (bad) the fact that there weren’t enough lifeboats. During
the panic that occurred while the lifeboats were being lowered, some of them turned over before they
reached the water and then floated away from the ship. (14)Eventually (eventual), a total of 1,517 people
died that night. The number of men who died was (15) higher than (high) the number of women and
children because ‘the women-and-children-first’ protocol was followed. When it became (16) obvious
(obvious) that the Titanic was going to sink, the captain could (17) hardly (hard) do anything to save the
passengers or the ship.
In addition to the comparative forms of adjectives and adverbs, it is also possible to make a comparison with
(not) as … as to talk about similarities and differences. In LL-Int Unit 5, you studied the use of (not) as … as
with adjectives. The structure can also be used in the following ways:
AS + adj/adv + AS
NOT AS /SO + adj/adv + AS
(not) AS + many + count. noun + AS
(not) AS + much + uncount.noun + AS
We use as + adj/adv + as
to show similarity.
We use not as/so +
adj/adv + as to show
We use as + many/ much
+ noun + as to talk about
* The Titanic was as big as her older sister
* The Titanic was decorated as beautifully as
the Olympic.
* The Olympic wasn’t as impressive as the
* The radio operators on the Titanic didn’t
take the warnings as seriously as the
ones in the Amerika and the Mesaba.
* There weren’t as many lifeboats as
people needed.
* The construction of the Titanic took as
much time as the construction of the
TASK 2. Complete the sentences using the clues given in parentheses without changing the meaning.
1. Crisps are not as nutritious as nuts. (less)
Crisps are less nutritious than nuts.
2. It is more expensive to live in İstanbul than Ankara. (not)
It is not as/so expensive to live in Ankara as in İstanbul.
3. Fernandez is the most skillful player in the team. (as)
No one else in the team is as skillful as Fernandez.
4. John and Mary have received the same number of job offers. (many)
Mary has received as many job offers as John.
5. The cinema was nearer than we thought. (far)
The cinema was not as far as we thought.
6. This building is older than the theatre. (so)
The theatre is not so old as this building.
7. No one plays the piano as well as Fazıl Say. (better)
Fazıl Say plays the piano better than everyone/anyone else.
8. We have got the same number of brothers. (many)
I’ve got as many brothers as you (have).
9. Airships aren’t as dangerous as they used to be. (than)
Airships are safer than they used to be.
10. Today I feel happier than ever. (as)
I have never felt as happy as (I do) today.
As you have practiced in LL-Int Unit 5, we can make comparatives stronger or weaker by using intensifiers.
To talk about a big difference, “much”, “a lot” and “far” are used with comparatives, and
“nearly” with not as … as.
To talk about a small difference, “a little”, “a bit” and “slightly” are used with comparatives, and
“quite” with not as … as.
X is
a lot
+ comparative form + than Y.
Y isn’t NEARLY as … as X.
X is
a little
a bit
+ comparative form + than Y.
Y isn’t QUITE as … as X.
The Titanic was much/a lot/far more impressive than the Olympic.
= The Olympic was not nearly as impressive as the Titanic.
The Titanic was a little/a bit/slightly longer than the Olympic.
= The Olympic was not quite as long as the Titanic.
“Very” is never used as an intensifier before the comparative form.
e.g. * The Titanic was very larger than all the other passenger ships. ()
* The Titanic was much/a lot/far larger than all the other passenger ships. ()
The intensifier by far is used with superlatives to qualify adjectives or adverbs.
People thought that the Titanic was by far the safest ship of her time.
Not having enough lifeboats was by far the most important problem.
TASK 3. Complete the following statements using intensifiers (a lot, far, much, slightly, a little, a bit, by
far). Use the correct form of the words in parentheses.
1. The blue dress is 40TL, and the red one is 42TL. (expensive)
The red dress is slightly/a little/a bit more expensive than the blue one.
2. Melis finished the pop quiz in 20 minutes whereas Selin completed it in 6 minutes. (quick)
Selin finished the pop quiz a lot/far/much more quickly than Melis.
3. There are 8 students in my class and 22 in yours. (many)
There are a lot/far more students in your class than in my class.
4. My cousin is 27 years old, but her husband is 48. (young)
My cousin is a lot/far/much younger than her husband.
5. John went to Istanbul to stay for 5 days; however, he stayed there for 7 days. (long)
John stayed in Istanbul slightly/a little/a bit longer than he had planned.
6. People like watching sports events in Turkey, but football has a lot more fans than all the other sports. (popular)
Football is by far the most popular sport in Turkey.
TASK 4. Rewrite the following sentences without changing their meaning. Use not as ... as.
1. Riding a bike is a lot easier than riding a horse.
Riding a horse is not nearly as easy as riding a bike.
2. Sally finds physics a little easier than maths.
Maths is not quite as easy as physics for Sally.
3. John is slightly more hard-working than Edward.
Edward is not quite as hard-working as John.
4. Adriana Lima is far more beautiful than Lady Gaga.
Lady Gaga isn’t nearly as beautiful as Adriana Lima.
5. In emergency situations, children are much calmer than adults.
In emergency situations, adults aren’t nearly as calm as children (are).
6. My brother is far cleverer than me.
I am not nearly as clever as my brother.
7. Our cat is slightly smaller than Michael’s cat.
Our cat isn’t quite as big as Michael’s (cat).
8. Toshiba is a little more expensive than HP.
HP isn’t quite as expensive as Toshiba.
9. Inflation is slightly higher in France than (it is) in Germany.
Inflation is not quite as high in Germany as (it is) in France.
10. I’m much more sensitive than I used to be.
I’m not nearly as sensitive as I used to be.
TASK 5. Fill in the blanks with ONE WORD only.
Researchers have always been interested in discovering the differences between
women and men. One area that they have focused on is language. Studies show that
girls begin to talk earlier (1) than boys, and that boys aren’t capable of producing
(2)as many sophisticated sentences as girls. When they start school, the gap
becomes smaller, but still, most girls have (3) better verbal skills than boys on
average. In addition to the better command of the language, studies have revealed a big difference between
women and men in terms of social skills. According to research, men aren’t (4) nearly as good as women at
establishing communication with others.
Perhaps the differences in terms of leadership skills are by (5) far the most striking ones. It has been
observed that men like being dominant, so they are eager to take on many responsibilities. Women, on the
other hand, try to share ideas, and they prefer to take on (6) fewer responsibilities than men. Also, women
are a (7) lot more sensitive about how their employees feel. They always try to make their employees feel
comfortable. Men, (8) however, prefer to keep their employees at a distance. They like to demonstrate their
authority much (9) more formally than women and seem to care more about hierarchy. Sometimes they are
even criticized for too (10) much hierarchy in their offices.
Although it seems there are noticeable differences between women and men, it is worth remembering that
these studies reflect averages and there will always be exceptions.
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