History of the English Language

 

 

 

Comparatives - Christmas Eve

Look out for the comparatives highlighted in bold. There is a short explanation of comparative forms at the end of the article.

As far as I know, most of our European cousins have their main Christmas celebration on December 24th. This is when the family gets together, the tree is decorated, there is a big family meal in the evening and presents are given to the children.

Unfortunately for the Brits, Xmas Eve (as we call Dec 24th) is not as nice as that. We do have all the traditions that you have on the continent, but we we just do it later than them. As you probably know, for people in the UK (and in America and Australia) Dec 25th, Xmas Day is much more important than Dec 24th.
 
In fact, Xmas Eve is as normal as any other day of the year. Lots of people go to work and all the shops and supermarkets are open...and perhaps even later than normal. However, the stress of shopping is even worse than on other days, as thousands of people do their last minute Xmas shopping. The supermarkets are absolutely rammed full of people buying all the crucial ingredients to make the perfect Xmas lunch. It’s also very common to see men sprinting around Oxford St, or shopping malls on Xmas Eve, carrying loads of shopping bags full of presents, trying to remember the last essential gift that they haven’t bought yet…and can’t for the life of them remember what it was. (Even David Beckham was caught doing this today). Every year, lots of people swear that they will never do that again and be better the next year: they will buy their Xmas presents earlier in December, but it never seems to get any better. All of this means that for many Brits, Xmas Eve is more stressful than any other day of the year.
 
However, due to the unstoppable rise of internet shopping, the high street will probably see less action than in the past. Sites like Amazon.co.uk have made the whole shopping experience so much easier and less stressful than running around like a headless chicken at the last minute. But, there is still a catch even with that. As Amazon uses normal postal services to deliver their parcels and lots of people are out at work in the day, not at home to receive their packages then they have to go to their local post-depot to collect them. This usually means that everyone turns up on a Saturday morning. With last minute deliveries (come on, you didn’t think that people ordered their presents in October or November, did you?) this means that on Xmas Eve, at the last possible moment for collecting, the queues for missed deliveries are much, much longer than normal. So, you thought that you could avoid Xmas Eve shopping stress by being clever and using the internet and then you end up standing outside in the rain in the biggest queue of your life! Why not move to the continent all you Brits?
Or is Dec 23rd, like this for everyone else? Let me know in the comments section.
However, Xmas Eve is great because Father Christmas comes at midnight and delivers all the presents!!
 

Comparatives

 

Adjectives with 1 Syllable

(long, nice, big):  + -er
e.g.
long > longer
 
big > bigger (Notice here that we have double ‘g’. This is because ‘big’ is an adjective where the last 3 letters are consonant(b)/vowel(i)/consonant(g). With these words, the last consonant, ‘g’ in this case, is doubled.)
 
nice > nicer  (Notice that the adjective here, ‘nice’ already has an ‘e’ on the end, so to get the –er ending, we just add an ‘r’)

 

Adjectives with 2 or more syllables

(normal, stressful, important): more / less  +  adjective
e.g.
important > more important

stressful > less stressful

 

Adjectives ending with the letter ‘y’

(easy, dirty, ):  delete –y and add  -ier
e.g.
easy > easier

 

Comparing Things

 

When things are the SAME

 
(as…as) Xmas Eve is as normal as any other day of the year
 

When 2 things are different

(not as…comparative…as) Xmas Eve in the UK is not as nice as Dec 24th in continental Europe
 
(comparative + than)
In the UK we celebrate Xmas a day later than other European countries
 

2 Things Different, but we make it sound stronger

(much more + comparative + than) Xmas Eve is much more stressful than any other day of the year
 

2 Things Different, but we make it sound weaker

(less + comparative + than)

Internet shopping is much less stressful than last minute high street shopping

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