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Spelling rules.

1. If the adjective ends in a consonant preceded by a stressed short vowel the consonant is doubled before ‑er, ‑est.


sad sadder (the) saddest
big bigger (the) biggest


2. If the adjective ends in ‑y preceded by a consonant, у is changed into i before ‑er and ‑est.


busy busier (the) busiest
happy happier (the) happiest


3. If the adjective ends in ‑e the e is dropped before ‑er and ‑est.


brave braver (the) bravest
tine finer (the) finest


§ 4. The adjective has the following syntactical characteristics: In a sentence the adjective may be used as an attribute or as a predicative.


A little fat chap thrust out his underlip and the tall fellow frowned.

(Mansfield) (ATTRIBUTES)

Laura was terribly nervous. (Mansfield) (PREDICATIVE)

The air was motionless... (Mansfield) (PREDICATIVE)


Morphological composition of the adjective.

Adjectives are divided into simple, derivative and compound.

1. Simple adjectives are adjectives which have neither prefixes nor suffixes. They are indecomposable: e. g. good, red, black.

2. Derivative adjectivesare adjectives which have derivative elements, suffixes or prefixes or both: beautiful, foolish, hopeless, unkind, unimportant.

Productive adjective-forming suffixes are:


-less: friendless, harmless, hopeless

-like: childlike

-ish: childish, foolish

-ed (-d): beaded, blue-eyed


Unproductive suffixes are:


-fid: careful

‑ible: responsible

‑able: reliable

‑ant: important

‑ent: dependent

‑en: woolen

‑ous: dangerous

‑some: troublesome


Productive adjective-forming prefixes are:


un-: unhappy

pre-: prewar


The unproductive prefix of the adjective is:


in-: incorrect


3. Compound adjectives are adjectives built from two or more stems.

The main types of compound adjectives are as follows:


(a) noun-stem + adjective-stem: snow-white.

(b) noun-stem + participle-stem: life-giving, smoke-dried.

(c) adjective-stem + adjective-stem: deaf-mute.

(d) adjective-stem + noun-stem + suffix ‑ed: cold-hearted.

(e) noun-stem + noun-stem + suffix ‑ed: lynx-eyed.

(f) numeral-stem + noun-stem + suffix ‑ed: four-wheeled.

(g) adverb-stem + noun-stem + suffix ‑ed: over-peopled.


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