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Comparison Basics

Grammar and Comparisons, Basics on as…as

What can go between as…as?

  • As adjective as
  • As adverb as
  • As many plural noun as
  • As much noncount noun as

How do you form this comparison?

You compare two people, two places, two things and then follow these basic rules.

  • Look to see what you are comparing about the two. Let’s say you can comparing two people.

Ex:  My mom is tall.  My dad is very tall.

What are you comparing about the two?  Their height, how tall they are.

  • Look at the grammar of what you are comparing.
    Here you are comparing tall.  What is tall?  It is an adjective. So you can put as tall as because an adjective can go in between.
  • Look to see if they are equal or not.

If they are equal, you can use as…as.

If they are not equal, you need to use the negative form as…as and you need to put the one that is less first.


Which one is less?  My mom is less tall so you would be her first.


My mom isn’t as tall as my dad.

  • Later you can add more vocabulary to it like not nearly as. Please see more advanced handout for those structures.

Let’s do another simple practice.

My dog is crazy.  My brother’s dog is crazy.

1)What do we need to do first?  See what we are comparing.  We are comparing about the two.  We are comparing crazy.

2) Then we need to look at the grammar of that expression.  What part of speech is it?  It is an adjective so we can use as…as.

3) Then we need to see if they are equal or not.  They are equal so we can use as…as. Nothing is less so it doesn’t matter what goes first.

My dog is as crazy as my brother’s dog.

4)In another handout, you can add vocabulary for equal if you want.  You can put just in front of the first as to emphasize that they are equal.

My dog is just as crazy as my brother’s dog.

If you want to do the practice, I am happy to look at it.  Just put your answers in the comment section.


COMBINE using the appropriate as…as structure.

1.Dogs live up to 20 years.  Wolves live up to 15 years.

2.A lion can run 59 miles an hour.  A tiger can run 37 miles an hour.

3.Alligators can be 4.3 meters long.  Crocodiles can be 5.8 meters long.

4.Alligators are typically aggressive.  Crocodiles are typically very aggressive.


Comparison/Contrast structures: As…As


In this section, we will look at some common comparisons.  In writing, comparisons are used in a comparison/contrast paper and they are used in charts/graphs/tables because typically when presenting that information you compare. 

The first comparison is the structure as…as.


Here are the structures that can go between as…as

(not) as adjective/adverb as

(not)as + many plural noun as

(not)as + much noncount noun as

Vocabulary typically added.

To emphasize that they are equal, you can use just as…as.

Ex:The book we use in 300 Grammar is just as good as the book we use in 400 Grammar.

To show that two elements are slightly unequal, you can use

almost/nearly/about/not quite as…as

Ex:  My dad is almost as tall as my brother.

To emphasize a difference, you can use not nearly as

Ex:The roads are not nearly as icy today as they were yesterday.


Let’s practice.  You can choose two of this year’s (2015) Super bowl commercials. http://www.superbowl-commercials.org/

1.as adjective as

2.isn’t adjective as

3.as adverb as

4.as many plural noun as

or .as much noncount noun as

5.just as adjective as

6.nearly as …as

7.not nearly as…as

Note:  Comparisons are one of the structures in grammar that we make parallel.  What is parallelism or parallel structure? It is when the grammar and vocabulary match.

Ex: I am as tall as you. Normally, in spoken English this is what we say but in formal written English we are supposed to make this sentence parallel.

Ex: I am as tall as you are.  Before as…as there was a subject and verb so we are supposed to be a subject and verb after as…as.  Now the grammar is parallel; it matches.

I will do another handout on all parallel structures

Back to the Site

I have been away from this site for months now because I broke both of the major bones in my wrist.  Unfortunately, the break was in my right wrist and I am right-handed.  After a cast and months of physical therapy, I am now thankfully back to 100%.

Sorry for being away for so long and I hope to continue this site.

I hope my former and current students are doing well,


Visit from Mt. Vernon Institute

Our business class that does design thinking had the privilege of hosting a group of high school students from Mt. Vernon Institute.  We got to show them around campus and we spent some time discussing how we might collaborate in the future.

I am looking forward to seeing what we can do together and I am reminded of one of my favorite sayings – “It takes a team to make a dream work.”

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Answers to Earlier Practice for Slang: Emotions

Please do the following matching exercise.  

1.____d_what’s up with that?                                   a.too much work

2.___e__I’m pissed off.                                                 b.tired

3.__f___He’s freaking out.                                         c.little sad

4.__c___I’m bummed out.                                      d.surprised

5._a____I’m swamped.                                               e.angry

6.__b___I’m beat.                                                            f.go crazy in a good or bad way

Slang: Weather Practice

Please answer the following questions about slang related to weather:

How can you say it’s raining a lot?

How can you say it’s raining a little?

How can you say you got really wet because of the rain?

Now answer these questions that are not slang but are related to weather:

What is worse – a tornado or a hurricane?

What is worse – a watch or a warning?

What is hail?

In a thunderstorm you have thunder and lightning.  Which one is the sound in a thunderstorm?

Which one is the light you see?

Don’t forget:  If you plan to live in a city in the US, make sure you know what dangerous weather they may have and what you should do to keep yourself safe.





Slang: Emotions Continued

Please fill in the following expressions in the appropriate blanks:

bummed out

going to crash

pissed off


what’s up with that

freaking out

I’m beat

Conversation 1: Tonight was one of the quarterfinal games in the World Cup. 

A: The Brasilian team lost. _________________________?

B: I am _________________ that they lost.  I kind of just want to go to bed and forget it all.

Conversation 2: 

A: I am so ______________ at how Brasil played.  I am just so upset.

B: You needed someone to bite the German players and maybe that could have helped.

Conversation 3:

A:  I didn’t watch the game.  I was ______________________.  I had too much work to do.

B: It’s probably better.  It wasn’t the best game to watch.

Conversation 4:

A: One of my former students posted on Facebook every few minutes.  He is totally_____________ because he’s Brasilian.

Well, _________________________.  I’m going ____________________.  I need to get some sleep.

I am sorry for my Brasilian friends and students but they did make it to the quarter final and their best player was injured.


Slang: Weather

In this post, we will look at weather related vocabulary.  Most of what we will look at here will be slang.  However, there are some vocabulary words related to weather that aren’t slang but I just want to make sure you know.

If you are going to be studying at a university in the U.S. whether it is for ESL and for your major, make sure that wherever you choose to go that you check out what the weather there is typically like.

Let’s now look at some vocabulary for weather.   Please note that the slash mark (/) means they are synonyms, close in meaning.


Raining a lot – It’s pouring.

Raining a little – it’s sprinkling/it’s drizzling.

When a person gets totally wet because they got rained on – I’m soaked.


Freezing rain – It’s sleeting.

I’m cold – I’m freezing/I’m so cold/I’m freezing to death

Very little snow –There are some snow flurries.

A lot of snow – They’re in a blizzard.


Lightning – the bright light you see in the sky that can hurt you during a thunderstorm

Thunder – the sound

thunderstorms – a combination of thunder and lightning

Hail – solid rain. Keep watching and you’ll see the solid rain, the hail.

Flooding – lots of water in an area at once. 

Tornadoes –  http://whyfiles.org/2014/tornadoes-strike-again-how-do-they-work/

Hurricanes- these are much more dangerous than tornadoes although tornadoes are dangerous. Hurricanes can produce a lot of tornadoes, cause flooding, and just totally destruction in a VERY large area.    http://www.history.com/topics/hurricane-katrina

Tornado watch/warning/hurricane watch/warning.  A watch means that the conditions are possible for a tornado to occur.  A warning means that a tornado has been sighted in your area.  You need to get to safety immediately.  A hurricane watch means that the conditions are possible for a hurricane.  Typically with a hurricane warning, there is much advanced warning and you need to make sure that you do NOT stay in the area when you get advanced warning but leave.

Earthquakes – there are technical definitions but you probably are familiar with earthquakes.  It is when the earth shakes. The severity of earthquakes are measure on what is called the Richter scale.  An 8.1 earthquake is much more dangerous than a 5.1, for example. 1989 Earthquake in California – 

There are many other types of violent weather like tsunamis, typhoons, volcanoes or an avalanche.


Slang: Emotions Practice 1

Please do the following matching exercise.  

1._____what’s up with that?                                     a.too much work

2._____I’m pissed off.                                                   b.tired

3._____He’s freaking out.                                           c.little sad

4._____I’m bummed out.                                           d.surprised

5._____I’m swamped.                                                    e.angry

6._____I’m beat.                                                                f.go crazy in a good or bad way



Advanced Listening, Outside Listening Assignment 1, What Every Parent Should Know

Please go to the following link, listen to the lecture and take notes. Make sure you have a plan in that you use an outline.  After you take notes and the lecture is over, please put in outline form.


You can find the link here,  or http://tedxatlanta.com/videos/

A brief note about the speaker:

The presenter gave this talk at TedxAtlanta in May of 2014.  Her talk was focused on closing the 30 million word gap.  What is that?  A previous study by Hart and Risley concluded that some kids heard 30 million fewer words by their 4th birthday.  Fitzgerald gave some great and practical information for parents, educators and anyone who cares about poverty and children.  You really don’t want to miss this lecture.

Please read here her bio here:


For more information:


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