- Articles: a, an, the
- Quantifiers: all, few, many, several, some
- Possessive: her, his, its, my, our, their, your
- Demonstratives: this, that, these, those
- Numerals: one, three, hundred
- Negative: No
1. Farther/Farthest and Further/FurthestBoth forms (Farther/Farthest and Further/Furthest) can be used for distances.
- Chennai is farther/further than Bangalore.
- Chennai is the farthest/furthest town.
- No further action is needed in this matter.
- I do not propose to discuss it any further.
- This was the furthest point they reached in their discussion.
- This was the furthest concession he would make.
2. Elder/Eldest and Older/OldestElder/Eldest are chiefly used for comparisons within a family. They imply seniority rather than age. Elder and eldest are used for persons, while older and oldest are used for persons as well as for things. Elder is not used with than, it takes to. Older/oldest is used for age.
- Ram is my elder brother.
- Shiva is the eldest of four brothers.
- My grandfather is older than his grandmother.
- This is the oldest college in our city.
3. Later/Latest/Latter/LastLater and Latest are used with reference to time. Latter and last is used with reference to order. Latest refers to new (last up to now) or very recent things. Last means final or no new after that. In talking about events, inventions, productions etc. we use latest. Latter is used for comparison of two in order, for more than two we use last.
- He came later than Ram.
- He came in the last.
- Between Ram and Shiva, the latter is more intelligent. (means Shiva is more intelligent than Ram.)
- Of iron and silver, the latter is known as white metal.
- This is the latest fashion.
- Lord Mountbatten was the last Governor General of India.
4. Many/Much(Adjectives and Pronouns)Many (adjective) is used before countable nouns. Much (adjective) is used before uncountable nouns.
- She didn’t buy many books.
- Ram need much money.
5. Less/Fewer/LesserWhen we talk about countable things we use the word fewer; and for uncountables, the word less is used.
- She had fewer chores, but lesser energy.
- Fewer people smoke these days than used to.
- Its less than fifty kilometres to Delhi.
- She is less than five feet tall.
- Lesser means less important.
- Many lesser speakers also came to speak.
- Many lesser readers were present in the function.
- He is taller than me. ➡️ Incorrect
- He is taller than I. ➡️ Correct.
6. Near/NextThe adjective near can be used like a preposition with or without to. To is not normally used when we talk about physical closeness.
- He lives near railway station.
- The runners looked near exhaustion.
- She got off at the next stop.
- She is away for the next few days.
7. Verbal/OralOral communication is spoken rather than written.
- The written and oral traditions of ancient culture.
- An oral agreement.
- Antibiotic tablets taken orally.
- She decided to give the report orally rather than in writing.
- They were subjected to a torrent of verbal abuse.
- We have a verbal agreement with her.
- The test has scores for verbal skills and arithmetic skills.
- Many strikebreakers were subjected to verbal and physical attacks.
8. Due to/Owing toDue to can be used as a complement of the verb. Due to means as a result of while owing to means because of.
- He failed due to his negligence.
- Owing to his negligence, he failed.
- The accident was due to carelessness.
- Owing to carelessness there was an accident.
- Mistakes due to carelessness have serious consequences.
- A power failure due to a fault in the cable, brought all the machinery to standstill.
9. Some/AnySome is used normally in affirmative with countables and uncountables as well. In interrogative sentences, some is used for request or offer or command and for which answer in affirmation is expected.
- I shall buy some books.
- They have purchased some fruits.
- Will you give me some milk?
- I don’t have any pen.
- Have you read any novel?
10. Each/everyEach and every are similar in meaning. Each is used for two and more than two while every is always used for more than two.
Every: More than two.
- Each of the two girls gets a prize.
- Each of the ten students gets a prize.
- Every student gets a prize.
- Every candidate was given a certificate.
Every: More than two.
11. Little/A little/The littleLittle is used for uncountables. Little means hardly any. It has negative meaning (almost nothing). A little means some though not much. It has positive meaning. The little means not much but all that is. It also has positive meaning.
- He takes little interest in parental business. (He has hardly any or no interest.)
- We have a little hope of his recovery. (He may recover.)
- The little money she had, was also spent on medicines. (He have no money now.)
12. Few/A few/The fewFew is used for countable. Few means hardly any. It has a negative meaning. A few means not many. It has a positive meaning. The few means not many but all there are. It also has positive meaning.
- Few people are fully happy. (Hardly any people)
- A few people can write correct English.
- The few utensils she had, all taken by the thief. (Now she has no utensils)
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