Mistakes in the use of adjectives

Here is a list of errors that ESL students often make in the use of adjectives.

  • Incorrect: She is more stronger than her sister.
  • Correct: She is stronger than her sister.

Avoid double comparatives. Adjectives of one syllable usually form their comparatives by adding –er to the positive. Longer adjectives take more.

  • Incorrect: Bombay is further from Delhi than Agra.
  • Correct: Bombay is farther from Delhi than Agra.

Further means ‘additional’. Farther is used to talk about distance.

  • Incorrect: You have much books.
  • Correct: You have many books.
  • Incorrect: I have many work to do.
  • Correct: I have much work to do.

Use much with uncountable nouns. Use many with countable nouns.

  • Incorrect: She is growing strong and strong everyday.
  • Correct: She is growing stronger and stronger everyday.

The comparative form of the adjective is used in structures like these.

  • Incorrect: Let’s go quiet somewhere.
  • Correct: Let’s go somewhere quiet.

The adjective usually goes after expressions like somewhere.

  • Incorrect: I can’t afford that a big car.
  • Correct: I can’t afford that big a car.

Note the pattern: that + adjective + a/an + noun

  • Incorrect: Tell me the last news.
  • Correct: Tell me the latest news.

Latest means ‘the most recent’. Last means ‘the previous one’.

  • Incorrect: I have less worries than you.
  • Correct: I have fewer worries than you.

Use less with uncountable nouns. Use fewer with countable nouns.

  • Incorrect: He wasted his all wealth.
  • Correct: He wasted all his wealth.

Quantifiers like all, both and half go before possessives.