Adjective often confused
Many and Much.
Don’t Say: My brother hasn't much books.
Say: My brother hasn't many books.
Don’t Say: Is there many dust in the room?
Say: Is there much dust in the room?
Use many with plural nouns: many books or many boys. Use much with uncountable nouns: much water or much bread.
Note: In affirmative sentences many and much are generally replaced by a lot (of), a great deal (of), plenty (of), a good deal (of), a good many (of), a great number (of), a large quantity (of), etc.
466. Few and A Few.
Don’t Say: Although the question was easy, a few boys were able to answer it.
Say: Although the question was easy, few boys were able to answer it.
(b) A few
Don’t Say: Although the question was difficult, few boys were able to answer it.
Say: Although the question was difficult, a few boys were able to answer it.
Few means not many and emphasises the smallness of the number it is distinguished from a few, which means at least some.
Little and A little.
Don’t Say: He took a little exercise and wasn't very fit.
Say: He took little exercise and wasn't very fit.
(b) A little.
Don’t Say: She took little exercise and felt much better.
Say: She took a little exercise and felt much better.
Little means not much and emphasises the smallness of the amount. It's distinguished from a little which means at least some.
Each and Every.
Don’t Say: She gave an apple to every of the children.
Say: She gave an apple to each of the children.
Don’t Say: Each child had an apple.
Say: Every child had an apple.
Use each for one of two or more things, taken one by one. Never use every for two, but always for more than two things, taken as a group. Each is more individual and specific, but every is the more emphatic word.
Note: Each and every are always singular: Each (or every) one of the twenty boys has a book.
469. His and Her.
Don’t Say: John visits her aunt every Sunday.
Say: John visits his aunt every Sunday,
Don’t Say: Ann visits his uncle every Sunday.
Say: Ann visits her uncle every Sunday.
In English, possessive adjectives (and pronouns) agree with the person who possesses, and not with the person or thing possessed.
When the possessor is masculine, use his, and when the possessor is feminine, use her.
Older (oldest) and Elder (eldest).
Don’t Say: This girl is elder than that one. This girl is the eldest of all
Say: This girl is older than that one. This girl is the oldest of all.
(b) Elder, Eldest.
Don’t Say: My older brother is called John. My oldest brother is not here.
Say: My elder brother is called John. My eldest brother is not here.
Older and oldest are applied to both people and things, while elder and eldest are applied to people only, and most frequently to related people.
Note: Elder can't be followed by than: Jane is older (not elder) than her sister.
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