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English Grammar & Vocabulary

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GRE Verbal

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Grammar and Reading

Verbal session – 04

Grammar and Reading

Part1: Grammar

  1. 04

 There were less problems with the new approach.

 There were fewer problems with the new approach.

 

Explanation

Fewer is used to refer to items that are individually countable: problems, people, wheat grains etc.

Less is used for things that cannot be counted: sugar, wheat, love, strength etc.

Similarly, we have a number of people or grains of wheat, but an amount of love or wheat.

 

Note: Lesser is reserved for describing things and people of lower status/quality etc. For example:

This is the lesser of two evils.

Of the two philanthropists, he is the lesser man because his motivation is not as noble.

 

The study showed that teenagers who ate more vitamin-A had less / fewer / lesser spots on their skin and less / fewer / lesser dandruff.

 The study showed that teenagers who ate more vitamin A had fewer spots on their skin and less dandruff.

 

 The pupils complained about the amount / number of books they had to get through.

The pupils complained about the number of books they had to get through.

 

 On a cloudy night there appears to be less / fewer / lesser stars.

 On a cloudy night there appears to be fewer stars.

 

Direction: Chose the right word from the options given.

 

01.(Many/Much) students have trouble with economics.

  1. Few advisors spend (much/ many) time with their students.
  2. He knows (little/ few) people in the class.
  3. She spends quite a (little/ few) money on CDs.

 

  1. He has less friends in his classes how than he had last year. No error

(A)                      (B)           (C)            (D)       (E)      

  1. Much nutritionists argue that people’s intake of fat should be reduced.

       (A)                          (B)                             (C)                   (D)      

  1. Much unknown plants and animals are disappearing as the tropical forests are destroyed. No Error

(A)                                                                      (B)    (C)                   (D)       (E)      

 

Comparison:

Comparisons use adjectives and adverbs to indicate degrees of difference, which can be equal or unequal.

 

Equal Comparisons

An equal comparison shows that two entities are exactly the same, if positive, or not the same, if negative. The word as is used on either side of the adjective or adverb. Sometimes, the word so is used in the first position of a negative comparison.

 

Mary is as tall as her sister. OR Mary is not as tall as her sister.

Mary is not so tall as her sister.

 

Robert is as intelligent as Jane. (adjective)

Our choir sings as well as yours. (adverb)

NOTE: A subject pronoun is always used after the comparison phrase.comparison phrase- Gi ci me mgq subject pronoun e¨eüZ nq|

Mary is as tall as she.

 

Sometimes, nouns can be used in comparative phrases of equality by using the same in front of it.

My car runs the same speed as yours. My car runs as fast as yours.

 

NOTE: The opposite of the same as is different from. You should never use different than.

Their uniforms are different from ours.

 

Unequal Comparisons

Unequal comparatives show that there is a greater or lesser degree of difference.

The word than is always used at the end of the comparative, unless the object has already been established and is known.

My brother is bigger than your brother. OR My brother is bigger. (Object known)

 

NOTE: The suffix –er means the same as more. It is incorrect to use them together. You can NOT say: more nicer, more uglier, more faster

Using much or far before the unequal comparative intensifies the meaning even more.

Your outfit is far more fashionable than mine.

A jet is much faster than a plane.

 

Nouns can also be used in comparisons, but the correct determiners must be used with countable or uncountable nouns.

Countable nouns use more, fewer, less + noun + than

He has more comics than me.

I have fewer coins than Emily. (countable)

I have more classes than my friend. (countable)

Non-countable nouns use many, much, little, less + noun + as

They have as much food as we.

Emily has as little money as I. (non-countable)

My friend doesn’t have as much work as Sam. (non-countable)

 

Positives, Comparatives and Superlatives

She worked more painstakingly than Ralph. (comparative)

He behaved more comically than all the other clowns. (comparative)

That bull acts the most chaotic of all. (superlative)

That kid cries the most pitifully of all the rest. (superlative)

The girl is pretty. (positive)

 

The comparative shows a greater, or lesser, degree of difference between two people, groups, or things. The word than is used if the object of comparison is mentioned. It is not needed if the object of comparison is understood.

His dad is taller than yours. OR His dad is taller.

The superlative compares three or more people, groups, or things and shows which one is superior, or inferior, to the others.

Sally is the nicest girl in our class.

Ralph is the most successful graduate of our school.

This computer is the least expensive of all of them.

 

The phrase “one of the” is commonly used with superlative form to show that one person, group, or thing out of a number of people, groups, or things is the most, or least. When this phrase is used, the “group” noun is plural while the verb is singular.

One of the fastest planes in the world is the Concord.

Mohammad Ali is one of the greatest boxers in the world.

Numbered Comparatives

Numbered comparatives can include such words or phrases as: half, twice, three times, four times, etc. The phrase as much as is used for non-countable nouns and as many as is used for countable nouns. The phrase more than is NOT used with numbered comparatives. It is incorrect to say four times more than, etc.

This rock weighs twice as much as that one.

The cat had half as many kittens as before.

 

Double Comparatives

When a sentence begins with a comparative structure, the second clause must also begin with a comparative.

The harder you study, the easier the class will be.

The sooner you get to work, the earlier you can go home.

No Sooner: If the phrase no sooner begins a sentence, the word than must begin the second clause.

No sooner had Lisa hung out the laundry than it began to rain.

No sooner will I receive my check than it will all be spent on bills.

 

Direction: Select the correct one from each of the following pairs of sentences.

  1. (A) The smallest of two rooms in the beach house served as kitchen.

(B) The smaller of two rooms in the beach house served as kitchen.

  1. (A) Of Charles Dickens’ many novels, “Great Expectations” is the most enjoyable to many readers.

(B) Of Charles Dickens’ many novels, “Great Expectations” is the more enjoyable to many readers.

  1. (A) One’s fingerprints are different from those of any other person.

(B) One’s fingerprints are different from another person.

  1. (A) Total weight of all the ants in the world is much greater than all human beings.

(B) Total weight of all the ants in the world is much greater than that of all human beings.

 

Direction: Select the correct one from each of the following sentences.

  1. Arctic trees are____in milder climates.

(A) scrubbier then trees (B) scrubbiest than are trees (C) scrubbier than are trees (D) scrubbier than trees

  1. It is easiersaidthendone. No Error

  (A)     (B)  (C)    (D) (E)      

  1. The use of fossil fuel is moreworse for the environment.

(A)                   (B) (C)                         (D)      

  1. Most critics agree that William Shakespeare was the greater writer in the English literature.

(A)                   (B)                                                       (C)       (D)                  

  1. The area where in microchip is manufactured must be the mostcleanest. No Error

(A)       (B)                                                            (C) (D)       (E)

  1. It may be argued that modern Presidents have far great responsibilities thantheir predecessors had.

(A)                                                       (B)                                 (C)   (D)       

  1. Although Moli is younger than her sister, Moli is the tallest of the two.

(A) is the tall of the     (B)       is the taller of thetwo              (C) has been the taller of the                           (D) is the most tall of the            (E)       None of these.

  1. As Charles Darwin observed, natural selection operates whenever individuals of one genetic composition are better at reproducing than that of others.

      (A) that of others  (B)       the other (C)    another            (D) those of another    (E)       that of next

  1. There is ultimately no reason to believe that the mental capabilities of one sex are better than the other.

      (A) than the other    (B) than that of the other        (C) than other  is      (D) than those of the other

  1. (A) The working condition of a bank is much better than that of a real estate company.

(B) The working condition of a bank is more better than a real estate company.

(C) The working condition of a bank is much more better than that of a real estate company.

(D) The working condition of a bank is the best of all real estate company.

  1. 08

 The wages of a recent graduate entering this firm are not much lower than an experienced worker.

The wages of a recent graduate entering this firm are not much lower than those of an experienced worker.

The wages of a recent graduate entering this firm are not much lower than an experienced worker’s.

Explanation

We must compare similar things. In this case compare wages with wages. Look out for the words like, unlike, similar to, compared with etc. and see that the items compared are really comparable.

Watch that you compare singular with singular and plural with plural. For example:

 

Incorrect:       The children in this school eat more snacks than does a child in rural schools.

Better: The children in this school eat more snacks than do the children in a rural school.

Also fine:        The children in this school eat more snacks than do children in rural schools.

 

More Examples

            Sales of mobile telephones have increased this year much more than fixed connections.

Sales of mobile telephones have increased this year much more than have sales of fixed connections.

Because they have limited capital, many young entrepreneurs are able to withstand late payments less well than big businesses.

Because they have limited capital, many young entrepreneurs are able to withstand late payments less well than do big businesses.

 

Part 2: Reading Comprehension

Direction: Read the passage carefully and choose the best answer from the given alternatives.

 

Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, believed that an angry man was bole of a beast than a human being. He had a wife who used to lose her temper on the slightest excuse and tried her utmost to irritate the cool and calm philosopher. One day the woman became more furious than ever and began to insult Socrates. Socrates determined not to put out and to leave her alone, went away and sat on the door step of his house. The wife finding that Socraes was not paying the least heed to her loud angry scolding, went up to him and emptied a pot full of water him. The passerby in the street were amused at the incident and Socrates joined them in their laughter and quickly remarked, “ I was expecting this: after thunder comes rain.”

 

  1. The word “Philosopher” means-

(A) a thinker (B) a person who does good to other person (C) a learned man (D) a person who lets reason govern his wife.

  1. Socrates believed that an angry man was-

(A) not superior to a beast      (B) equal to a beast     (C) disliked by all       (D) less human than beast

  1. Which one of the following is not true for Socrates wife?

(A) She disturbed her husband           (B) She was not reasonable (C) She would loose her temper frequently (D) She did not insult Socrates

  1. The expression not to put out means-

(A) to be irritated                    (B) not to be vexed     (C) not to be angry                  (D) not to be bad temper

  1. ‘After thunder comes rain’- Here thunder means-

(A) a thunder bolt          (B) the loud and angry scolding of Socrates’ wife (C) the laughter of the passerby (D) a loud noise which usually follows a flash of lightening

 

  1. 03

Comparative and superlative

             Of the two choices, this is the best solution.

             Of the two choices, this is the better solution.

Explanation

The comparative forms better, cleverer, shorter, clearer, more beautiful, more intelligent etc. are used when referring to two items.

The superlative forms best, cleverest, shortest, clearest, most beautiful, most intelligent etc. are used for more than two.

Be careful with superior and inferior. These words are already comparatives and cannot be used with more.

Note: Unique is superlative and so we cannot say most unique.

 

The shorter / shortest sentence is the one to choose if you can see no major grammatical error in either.

The shorter sentence is the one to choose if you can see no major grammatical error in either.

 

  • The view from the top of the hill was one of the more beautiful I have ever seen.
  • The view from the top of the hill was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

 

Of your two essays, the first is worst; the second is more superior both in terms of language and content.

Of your two essays, the first is worse; the second is superior both in terms of language and content.

 

Direction: Select the correct one from the following pairs of sentences.

 

  1. (A) Frost does not occur in valleys and on low grounds as frequently than on adjacent hills.

(B) Frost does not occur in valleys and on low grounds as frequently as on adjacent hills.

  1. (A) The older hospital is as good or better than the new hospital.

(B) The older hospital is as good as or better than the new hospital.

  1. (A) In many ways, riding a bicycle is similar to driving a car.

(B) In many ways, riding a bicycle is similar to the driving of a car.

  1. (A) The more she worked the less she achieved.

(B) The more she worked the less than she achieved.

  1. (A) More people live in Shanghai than in any city in China.

(B) More people live in Shanghai than in any other city in China.

 

Try the following questions-

  1. Most babies will grow up to be as cleverer as their parents.

(A)                   (B)                   (C)                   (D)      

  1. Seventy percent of the public favored______ the present act in a recent survey.

(A) a clean air act at least as strong as

(B) a clean air act that is stronger, or at least so strong as,

(C) at least as strong a clean air act as is

(D) a clean air act as strong or stronger than is

  1. The gravity will apply the same to an airplane flying in the _____ ship floating the water.

(A) air as to a (B) air as a (C) as air as a (D) air compared to the (E) none of these

  1. The more we looked at the piece of modern art, _____

(A) it looked better (B) the more we like it (C) we liked it less (D) the less we liked it (E) better we liked it

  1. The chemistry lab instructor informed us that the higher the temperature of a molecule______

(A) the more energy it has (B) than it has more energy (C) more energy has it (D) it has more energy (E) none of these

  1. This book is quite similar to _________

(A) than a story told by our teacher (B) to the one I read last week (C) of that film we saw at school (D) with the “Treasure Island          (E) none of these

Questions for self study

Antonym Questions

Direction: Choose the word which is most nearly opposite in meaning to the word in capital letters.

 

  1. UNRULY

(A) Wild                      (B) Disruptive             (C) Obedient              (D) Good                   (E) none of these

  1. RELIABLE

(A) Unattainable         (B) Indefensible          (C) Undependable     (D) Verify       (E) none of these

  1. RESTRAIN

(A) Politician   (B) Release      (C) Official     (D) Certificate             (E) none of these

  1. MEAGER

(A)scant                      (B) miser        (C) little           (D) enough      (E) none of these

  1. OBSCURE

(A) Clarify      (B) Unclear     (C) Advocate              (D) Praise        (E) none of these

 

Direction: In each of the following questions, pick up the choice which is most opposite in meaning of the word italicized bold in the sentence.

 

  1. His conduct on the stage was applauded unanimously.

(A) booed                    (B) silenced                 (C) hated         (D) a disturbed            (E) none of these

  1. Her debonair manners were noticed by everyone present in the city.

(A) stiff                       (B) careless                  (C) courteous              (D) pleasant     (E) none of these

  1. Expediency is the guiding factor in politics.

(A) Novelty     (B) short- sightedness            (C) Unsuitability (D) Inconvenience (E) none of these

  1. She began to babel in front of the guests.

(A) quiet          (B) din             (C) mourn        (D) cry             (E) none of these

  1. The priest would not allow anyone to desecrate the sanctity of the temple.

(A) desist                    (B) integrate    (C) intensify    (D) consecrate             (E) none of these

 

Analogy Questions

Direction: Each of the following questions contains a pair of words in capital letters, next to which are five pairs of word or phrases. Choose the pair that best expresses the relationship similar to the one expressed by the pair of words in capital letters.

 

  1. LOGIC: REASONING

(A)ethics: behavior      (B) arrogance : leadership       (C) sensitivity: morality (D) bravery: charisma          (E) creativity: enthusiasm

  1. MUMBLE: INDISTINCT

(A) describe: easy       (B) accelerate: completed(C) fluent: well-spoken (D) blunder: cultured

  1. MIMICRY: CAMOUFLAGE

(A) photosynthesis: pollination (B) territoriality: migration (C) hibernation: generation                               (D) mutation: variation      (E) digestion: rumination

  1. MASON: TROWEL

(A) potter: clay (B) doctor: degree (C) carpenter: adze (D) preacher: sermon (E) sculptor: museum

  1. AMASS: WEALTH

(A) lavish: bribes (B) garner: grain (C) disperse: enemy (D) refund: deposit (E) weigh: value

  1. WINCE: PAIN

(A) pardon: tolerance (B) blush: embarrassment (C) cry: anger (D) sing: gaiety (E) march: patriotism

  1. CONNOISSEUR: PAINTING

(A) egotist: self(B) gourmet: viands (C) miser: gold (D) jury: criminal (E) artist: critic

  1. HILLOCK: MOUNTAIN

(A) hassock: stool (B) pond: lake (C) spice: herb (D) gravel: sand (E) tree: lumber

 

Sentence Completion Questions

Direction: Each sentence below has one or two blanks, each blank indicating that something has been omitted beneath the sentence are five lettered words or sets of words. Choose the word or set of words for each blank that best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

 

  1. The selection committee for the exhibit was amazed to see such fine work done by a mere___

(A) artist          (B) amateur    (C) entrepreneur          (D) exhibitionist          (E) none of these

  1. The college president made the _______ statement that no student athlete on academic probation, not even the top-scorer of the varsity team, would be allowed to participate in the intercollegiate sports.

(A) uncontroversial     (B) categorical            (C) impertinent            (D) opinionated

  1. The____ criminal still denies that he is____ for the robbery.

(A) arrested, part         (B) notorious, cursory            (C) ominous, demur               (D) convicted, culpable

  1. The ____ imposed for nonpayment was too____ for it to bring in improvement in collection.

(A) fine, severe           (B) toll, simple            (C) penalty, low          (D) punishment, harsh 

  1. He shifted to his late parents’ house not because of the____ it provided but for purely___ reasons.

(A) convenience, sentimental (B) grace         (C) value, monetary    (D) comforts, personal

 

Answer sheet

1

many

2

much

3

few

4

little

5

A

6

A

7

A

8

B

9

A

10

A

11

B

12

D

13

C

14

B

15

C

16

C

17

B

18

B

19

D

20

D

21

A

22

D

23

A

24

D

25

C

26

B

27

B

28

B

29

A

30

A

31

B

32

C

33

A

34

A

35

D

36

A

37

B

38

C

39

C

40

B

41

D

42

A

43

A

44

B

45

C

46

A

47

D

48

A

49

C

50

D

51

C

52

B

53

B

54

B

55

B

56

B

57

B

58

D

59

C

60

A

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