English Measure Adjectives For the Instructor of Advanced ESL Students

1) This unit introduces the scholar to seven English adjectives which might be used to explain and query linear dimensions of bodily objects in area, and to state and query the age of one thing bodily or summary. That is, they should do with area and time. The adjectives are lengthy, extensive, deep, thick, excessive, tall, and previous ; they happen in a specification of such a dimension, an oblique or direct query about it, or – if ellipsis is inappropriate – a quick reply to the query. Thus we are able to have:

A1) The desk is 2 meters lengthy.

A2) Tell me [how long the table is]. The bracketed matter [….] is an oblique query.

A3) How lengthy is the desk?

A4) (It’s) two meters (lengthy).

B1) The desk is three ft extensive.

B2) Tell me [how wide the table is].

B3) How extensive is the desk?

B4) (It’s) three ft (extensive).

C1) The pond is eight centimeters deep.

C2) Tell me [how deep the pond is].

C3) How deep is the pond?

C4) (It’s) eight centimeters (deep).

D1) The ice is 2 inches thick.

D2) Tell me [how thick the ice is].

D3) How thick is the ice?

D4) (It’s) two inches (thick).

E1) The mountain is 2 miles excessive.

E2) Tell me [how high the mountain is].

E3) How excessive is the mountain?

E4) (It’s) two miles ( excessive).

F1) The lady is 2 meters tall.

F2) Tell me [how tall the woman is].

F2) How tall is the lady?

F3) (She’s) two meters (tall).

G1) That man is eighty-five years previous.

G2) Tell me [how old that guy is].

G2) How previous is that man?

G3) (He’s) eighty-five (years previous).

Other measure phrases are utilized in how questions, however they do not happen in an outline of, or reply about, the merchandise questioned:

How typically do you see her?

* Twice per week typically.

How many are nonetheless right here?

*Five luggage many.

How a lot did that value?

* Thirty euros a lot.

How huge is your residence?

* It’s 5 rooms huge.

Long, extensive, deep, thick tall, excessive, and previous are the solely adjectives in the English language which might be used as I’ve indicated , and information of them is crucial to anybody – be (s)he six-year-old or astrophysicist – who has to perform in the actual bodily world of an Anglophone agency or nation.

2) The teacher could have seen that when a how + adjective query is answered, the reply typically consists of a noun phrase made up of a cardinal quantity and a noun (phrase) :

How previous is she?

Two (years previous).

If the class members are actually superior college students of English grammar, it could be worthwhile at this juncture to level out that attributive nouns in English (particularly in North America) do not often inflect for the plural: A manufacturing unit that produces vehicles is an car manufacturing unit, not an vehicles manufacturing unit; an individual who edits books is a ebook editor, not a books editor; a mattress of flowers is a flower mattress, not a flowers mattress; a brush for the enamel is a tooth brush, not a enamel brush. Even when a quantity better than one modifies the attributive noun, the prohibition in opposition to plural inflection for such a noun applies: a plan masking 5 years is a five-year plan, not a five-years plan; a woman who is 2 years previous is a two-year-old lady, not a two-years-old lady. (Year is just not the grammatical head of the modifying phrase, previous is, however 12 months is a noun that’s half of a phrase modifying the noun lady, so non-inflection nonetheless obtains.)

The college students must be instructed that age is specified both with a easy cardinal quantity or with such a quantity adopted by the phrase 12 months(s) previous; years previous is often ellipted as a result of we all know that the age of somebody no less than two years previous is all the time described in phrases of years..

She’s 5 years previous

She’s 5

But by no means

She’s 5 years or

She’s 5 previous.

If 12 months(s) is used, so should previous be; if previous is used, it have to be preceded by 12 months(s) [or, when appropriate, day(s) or month(s)].

And the teacher will of course add that human beings are tall or brief, by no means excessive or low.

3) The teacher can even have seen that the phrase used after how inquires about the place of one thing on a scale, and that the phrase itself can also be the one used to point the place at the excessive, or farther, finish of that scale. We say, not How younger is the child? however How previous is the child? ; How deep is the lake? not How shallow is the lake?; How lengthy is the pole? not How brief is the pole? Bring this function of English to the college students’ consideration.

4) The questions in Par. 1) are advanced, in that they require inversion of the topic and the (first) auxiliary they usually additionally require the fronting of the sentence part that how constitutes or is a component of. Lots of ESL texts that contact on such areas delay educating them till the college students are pretty nicely superior, however a mom speaking to (i.e. educating) her child would not chorus from utilizing superior grammatical gadgets, and the actual world that our grownup college students are thrust into would not, both. The trainer would possibly accordingly attempt introducing them early somewhat than late in the course.

5) The lesson(s) may be fairly easy and easy. All that is wanted is a ruler or tape measure and a desk or desk for size, width, and thickness; a container (cup, can ) for depth; the ceiling or an individual for peak (tall/excessive) ; and virtually something (city, constructing, individual) for age. (My expertise means that nouns utilized in linear area measurement – size, width, depth, peak, and so forth. – ought to most likely be saved, if potential, for one more lesson, as ought to lengthy and size as time- measure phrases) . These measure questions are fairly exhausting for learners, not as a result of of the idea of dimension in area and time however as a result of of the somewhat advanced grammar of the English query system.

Begin the lesson with an order, after which a query, about the dimension you are concerned about:

Tell me how lengthy that desk is.

How lengthy is that desk?

This supplies apply with direct and oblique questions {some grammarians name the oblique query a nominal relative clause}. When you get a solution – any sort of reply – mannequin the appropriate acceptable response, each full and elliptical:

The desk is 5 ft lengthy.

(It’s) 5 ft.

Make each scholar measure and specific all seven of these dimensions in each the English and the metric system. (Almost all rulers and tapes now offered in North America are marked for each methods.) I believe you will discover that the college students have enjoyable doing this – there are all the time tons of good-natured insults and intentionally complicated ideas.

6) The teacher ought to all the time bear in mind of each machine she or he is presenting. In this unit, the scholar is uncovered to

a) The attention-grabbing syntax and semantics of the seven distinctive measure adjectives.

b) The inversion, in questions, of the topic and operator. (The operator is the auxiliary verb, or the first auxiliary if there’s a couple of in the verb phrase.)

c) The fronting of how and the relaxation of the clause part it is half of: How deep is the ocean?

7) In their deservedly well-known Side by Side collection, Steve Molinsky and Bill Bliss used a dialogue that includes a wh- phrase questioning the id of a topic complement (What is your identify?) and one questioning the id of a prepositional complement (Where are you from?) in the very first lesson of the first quantity of the collection. It is smart to begin off this manner for the purpose said in Par. 4): It’s the means folks actually speak.

By Hal Niergarth

Source by Hal Niergarth

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