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The Status of Tamil as a Classical Language | Prose | By George L Hart - Grammar | 12th English : UNIT 5 : Prose : The Status of Tamil as a Classical Language

Chapter: 12th English : UNIT 5 : Prose : The Status of Tamil as a Classical Language


Grammar: Non- finite verbs, Articles and Determiners, DEGREES OF COMPARISON- TRANSFORMATION


Non- finite verbs

Non -finite verb (also known as a verbal) is the term to describe a verb that does not show tense. In other words, it is a verb form, which does not function as a verb.

There are three verbals– gerunds, infinitives and participles.

All these are formed from verbs, but are never used alone as action words in sentences. Instead verbals function as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs.

The gerund ends in –ing and is actually a verb form but it functions as a noun too.

  Jumping is fun. (subject to a verb)

  My son enjoys skiing. (Object to a verb)

  Mrs. Kala has a unique way of teaching. (Object to a preposition)

  It is no use crying. (In Opposition to a pronoun)

The Infinitive is the base form of a verb with ‘to’ –( to + verb). Usually it functions as a noun, although it can also function as an adjective e or an adverb.

  To jump is fun. (noun : Subject of the verb ‘is’)

  My son likes to ski. (noun : direct object of the verb ‘like’)

  I have a suggestion to offer. (adjective modifying suggestion)

  The manager called her to give a last warning. (adverb modifying the verb ‘called’)

participle is a verb that ends in – ing (Present particle) or-ed, _d, _t, _en, _ n, (past particle). Participles may function as adjectives, describing or modifying nouns.

  The dancing parrots entertained the crowd.

  The wrecked sailboat washed up on shore.


Task 1

Underline the gerunds in the following sentences.

1.        Boys love playing cricket.

2.        I love eating ice creams.

3.        Jessie enjoys bothering others.

4.        Painting is an interesting hobby.

5.        Dancing gives me joy.


Task 2

Use the gerundial form of the verb in the brackets and fill in the blanks.

1.        Exercising (exercise) is good for health.

2.        Flying (fly) a kite is fun.

3.        Shopping (shop) is my favourite hobby.

4.        My  friend  waited  for  the  meeting (meet).

5.        Huckleberry Finn was responsible for signalling (signal).


Task 3

Fill in the blanks with the correct infinitives.

1.        Deva forgot to post the letter.

2.        The   doctor   advised   the   patient to take his medicines without fail.

3.        Rajesh went to the airport to meet his friend.

4.        The bear climbed up the tree to collect the honey.

5.        The   boys   went   to   the   forest to shoot birds.

6.        I tried hard to make both ends meet.

7.        The archaeologists are trying to avoid the ruins of Keelady.

8.        Solar   energy   is   used   to produce electricity.

9.        To get concession, you have to apply well in advance.

10.   We have plans to visit to London during summer vacation.


Task 4

Combine each of the following pairs of sentences using participles. The first one is done for you.

Example: I didn’t know what to do. I phoned the police.

Not knowing what to do, I phoned the police.

1.        The baby cried. She was feeling sleepy.

Feeling sleepy, the baby cried.

2.        He lived alone. He had forgotten everybody.

Having lived alone, he forgot everybody.

3.        She walked out. She was smiling.

Walking out, She was smiling.

4.        The child says he needs attention. He shouts loudly.

Shouting loudly, the child says he needs attention.

5.        I threw the pen. It was broken.

Being broken, I threw the pen.

6.        His coat is tattered. It needs mending.

Being tattered, his coat needs mending.

7.        I heard the noise. I turned around.

Hearing the noise, I turned around.

8.        He was dissatisfied. He quit his job.

Being dissatisfied, he quit his job.

9.        The politician entered the campus. He was accompanied by many comrades.

Entering the campus, the politician was accompanied by many comrades.

10.   The girl entered the room. She was singing a song.

Entering the room, the girl was singing a song.


Articles and Determiners



Task 1

Complete the following exercise using a/ an/ the/ ‘o’ (no article) in the underlined space where appropriate. Change capital letters to lower case letters at the beginning of a sentence if necessary.

According to (1) the National Weather Report, cyclones are winds circulating (2) o counter clockwise in(3) the Northern Hemisphere and clockwisein (4) the southernHemisphere. Cyclones are usually accompanied by(5) a stormy weather. Tornadoes and hurricanes are types of cyclones.(6) The hurricane is (7) a cyclone that forms over (8) the tropical oceans and seas.(9) The hurricane rotates in(10) a shape of(11) an oval or a circle.(12) The Hurricane Andrew, which hit (13) the coasts of Louisiana and Southern Florida in August 1992, caused (14) an extreme devastation. It was one of (15) the most devasting hurricanes ever to hit(16) the U.S.. Fourteen people died of(17) the Andrew’s effect.


Task 2

Complete the following sentences using appropriate determiners.

1.        Only few people can afford to buy a flat in Chennai.

2.        She earns so much that she could not make a decent living.

3.        Some information that she gave proved false.

4.        How much sugar do you want?

5.        I am very tired today, as I had many guests today.

6.        Many / Some of my students have become doctors.

7.        Little do I know about his personal life.

8.        How many pages did you read?

9.        Some fertilizer used these days spoils the soil.

10.   During my student life I used to give some trouble to my teachers.



You have already learnt Degrees of Comparison in earlier classes and are therefore familiar with this concept of grammar. Now, recall the rules and guidelines related to this topic and try to complete the task given below.

We use the positive degree of an adjective when we do not intend to make any comparison. We use the comparative degree, when we compare two objects or two people. We use the superlative degree when more than two objects or two people are compared. Adverbs, too, have degrees of comparison.

Points to keep in mind

  A great many adjectives and a few adverbs form their comparatives and superlatives by adding ‘–er and –est’ respectively. [e.g. short – shorter – shortest]

  A few adjectives and many adverbs take ‘more and most’ to form their comparatives and superlatives. [e.g. wonderful – more wonderful – most wonderful]

  Some adjectives and adverbs take either the former or the latter. [e.g. gentle – gentler – gentlest / gentle – more gentle – most gentle]

  A few adjectives and adverbs form their comparatives and superlatives in an irregular way. [e.g. good – better – best / little – less, lesser – least / old – older, elder – oldest, eldest]

  There are certain comparatives that end in ‘-or’.They are followed by ‘to’ instead of ‘than’. [e.g. Marble flooring is superior to mosaic flooring. / Ravi is junior to me.]

  The adjectives in superlative degree are preceded by the definite article ‘the’. [e.g. The Nobel prize is the highest award given to scientists. / The Japanese are the most industrious people.]

  The article ‘the’ is often omitted before superlative adverbs. [ e.g. John climbed (the) highest of all cadets.]

  The definite article ‘the’ is not used before superlatives that follow a noun in possessive case. [e.g. That should be Robert’s worst experience in all of his childhood days.]

  Comparison of equals is expressed by ‘as + adjective + as’. In the negative comparison, ‘so + adjective + as’ is often used instead of ‘as + adjective + as’. [e.g. Ooty is as cool as Kodaikanal. / Bangalore isn’t so cool as Yercaud.]

  The adjectives in comparative degree are generally used to indicate apposition and are followed by ‘than’. They are also followed by ‘of ’ when it denotes selection. [e.g. Radha is taller than Anu. / Radha is the taller of the two.]

  We use ‘the’ with adjectives in comparative degree to show that one thing depends on another. [e.g. The deeper you breathe, the calmer you become.

  Sentences with adjectives and adverbs in one particular Degree of Comparison can be transformed into other degrees of comparison without changing their meaning.

  Here are a few examples that show how various types of sentences in different Degrees of Comparison can be interchanged.


Type -1

  No other profession is as noble as teaching.

  Teaching is nobler than any other profession.

  Teaching is the noblest of all professions. / Teaching is the noblest profession.

Type – 2

  Very few professions are as noble as teaching.

  Teaching is nobler than many other / most other professions.

  Teaching  is  one  of  the  noblest  professions.

Type – 3

  Apples are costlier than mangoes in the summer season.

  Mangoes are not so costly as apples in the summer season.

Type – 4

  Apples are not more expensive than mangoes during winter.

  Mangoes are as expensive as apples during winter.

Type – 5

  We have not watched such a thrilling movie as this.

  This movie is more thrilling than any other movie, we have ever watched.

  This is the most thrilling movie, we have ever watched.

Type – 6

  My brother can climb a tree as fast as a monkey.

  A monkey cannot climb a tree faster than my brother.


Task 1

Transform each of the following sentences using the comparative degree without changing the meaning.

1.        Very few Indian languages are as ancient as Tamil.

Tamil is more ancient than many other Indian languages.

2.        Hurricanes are as dangerous as tornadoes.

Tornadoes are not more dangerous than hurricanes.

3.        This is the most challenging task I have ever undertaken.

This is more challenging than any other task, I have ever undertaken.

4.        E-mail is the fastest means of communication.

E-mail is faster than any other means of communication.

5.        Compulsive gambling is the worst habit a man can develop.

Compulsive gambling is worse than any other habit, a man can develop.


Task 2

Rewrite each of the following sentences using the superlative degree retaining the meaning.

1.        Shakespeare is greater than many other dramatists of the world.

Shakespeare is one of the greatest dramatists of the world.

2.        Some people think that nothing is as important as money in life.

Some people think that money is the most important in life.

3.        The peacock is more colourful than any other bird found in India.

 The peacock is the most colourful bird found in India.

4.        Very few people in this town are as generous as Mr. Mohan.

Mr.Mohan is one of the most generous people in this town.

5.        No other planet in our solar system is as cold as Neptune.

Neptune is the coolest planet in our solar system (or) Neptune is the coolest of all planets in our solar system.

6.        I cannot do anything better for you than this.

This is the best thing, I can do for you.


Task 3

Replace the comparative adjectives in the following sentences with their positive forms.

1.        Rural life is certainly more peaceful than urban life.

Urban life is not certainly so peaceful as rural life.

2.        The pen is mightier than the sword.

The sword is not so mighty as the pen.

3.        Train journey is more comfortable than bus journey.

Bus journey is not so comfortable as train jouney.

4.        My mother can speak more sweetly than anyone else.

No one can speak so sweetly as my mother.

5.        Gold is not more useful than iron.

Iron is i as useful as gold.

Tags : The Status of Tamil as a Classical Language | Prose | By George L Hart , 12th English : UNIT 5 : Prose : The Status of Tamil as a Classical Language
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