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Grammar - Comparative Adverbs

This Spanish Difficult Review quiz will take a look at the comparative adverbs. In your English classes and in the Spanish Easy Review and Spanish Medium Review quiz series you learned that adverbs modify verbs, nouns, adjectives and even other adverbs. Adverbs let you know when something happened, how it happened, where it happened or why it happened. You also learned that many adverbs in English end with the letters 'ly' while in Spanish they end with the letters 'mente'. For example, look at the sentence: He ran happily. In Spanish this would read as: Él corrió alegremente. This type of adverb is known as an adverb of manner. But there are other adverbs and they are known as comparative adverbs.

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COMPARATIVE ADVERBS

What is a comparative adverb? A comparative adverb is an adverb that indicates that something has more (más) or less (menos) of a quantity or quality. In English we designate this by using the letters 'er' at the end of a word. Something that is 'big' is an adjective and something that is 'bigger' is a comparative adverb. In other words, two or more things are compared against each other.

Spanish does not have a comparison to the English words that end with the letters 'er'. Rather it places the words más (more) or menos (less or minus) before the noun, adverb or adjective it is comparing. Let’s look at the following examples.

ENGLISH SPANISH
She is intelligent. Ella es inteligente.
She is less intelligent. Ella es menos inteligente.
She is more intelligent. Ella es más inteligente.

It is really rather straight forward once you get the hang of it. So now let’s move on to the quiz section. The quiz contains ten sentences. Your task is to locate the answer that shows the correct comparative form of that sentence. You will have to pay attention to gender, spelling and whether you are to use more or less. Are you ready? Then you may start the quiz!

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  1. The night is dark.
    The first thing to look at here is the gender of the word night. It is a feminine word. The first and last answers are showing it as a masculine word which is incorrect. The second answer reads: The night is dark. That is the translation of the given sentence but your task is to locate the comparative form of the sentence. The third answer reads: The night is darker. That contains the correct comparative adverb.
  2. The street was long.
    The last answer is the correct translation of the given sentence but it is not the comparative form. The first answer reads: The street was short. That is the opposite of the given sentence and not the comparative. The third answer reads: The street looked longer. It is a comparative form sentence but it contains the wrong verb. The second answer reads: The street was longer. That contains the correct comparative adverb.
  3. The clothes are dry.
    The second answer is the proper translation of the given sentence but it is not the comparative form so it is not correct. The last answer reads: The clothes were drier. That is the past tense and you were not to change the tense so it is not correct. The first answer reads: The clothes are the driest. That is not the comparative form needed. The third answer reads: The clothes are drier. That contains the correct comparative adverb.
  4. Jason saw the high mountain.
    The second answer reads: Jason saw the large mountain. This is not the comparative form of the sentence. In fact, it simply used a different adjective to describe the mountain. The third answer reads: Jason saw the low mountain. Again, this is not the comparative form but a different adjective that is being used. The last answer reads: Jason saw the lost mountain. This, too, is not a comparative but an adjective change. The first answer reads: Jason saw the less high mountain. This is a comparative form even though 'er' is not used, it does show a less quantity or quality.
  5. Martha has a big cat.
    The second answer reads: Martha has a big cat. That is the correct translation of the given sentence but it is not the comparative form. The first answer reads: Martha has the largest cat. This is also not the comparative form of the sentence. The third answer reads: Martha has one big cat. It is not the comparative form and it has put a number into the sentence. The last answer reads: Martha has a bigger cat. It contains the correct comparative adverb. (Notice that when it says big cat the adjective grande is used after the noun gato but when the comparative adverb is used, grande comes before the noun. It can be shown both ways but this is the more correct and widely used form.)
  6. My sister is small.
    The sentence states: 'My sister' which in Spanish is 'Mi hermana'. The first and third answers read: 'My brother' making them incorrect. The last answer reads: My sister is small. That is the correct translation but it is not the comparative form. The second answer reads: My sister is smaller. That contains the correct comparative adverb.
  7. The world is happy.
    The second answer reads: The world is happy. That is the correct translation but it is not the comparative form. The third answer reads: The world is unhappy. It is not in the comparative form and it is showing a different adjective. The last answer reads: The world is awake. That, too, is not in the comparative form and has used a completely different adjective. The first answer reads: The world is happier. That contains the correct comparative adverb.
  8. The dog was slow.
    The last answer reads: The dog is slow. That is the correct translation but it does not show the comparative form. The first answer reads: The dog was slower. However, as the dog is a masculine word, the adverb must also be in the masculine form. This answer is showing the feminine form making it incorrect. The third answer reads: The dogs were slower. It is a comparative form but it has mistakenly changed it from a single dog to plural dogs. The second answer reads: The dog was slower. That contains the correct comparative adverb.
  9. The country is sad.
    The third answer reads: The country is sad. This is a correct translation but it is not in the comparative form. Next determine which pronoun can replace the country. That would be 'it' which makes it singular. The verb 'is' should be in the singular form. The first and second answers show the verb improperly in the plural form for 'they are'. The last answer reads: The country is sadder. That contains the correct comparative adverb.
  10. We are angry.
    The first answer reads: We are poorer. That is in the comparative form but it is the wrong adverb. The second answer reads: We are hungrier. Again, it is in the comparative form but it is the wrong adverb. The last answer reads: We are thirstier. That, too, is in the comparative form but has the wrong adverb. The third answer reads: We are angrier. That contains the correct comparative adverb.

Author: Christine G. Broome

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