ICSE Questions & Answers: English Language

1. What is the positive degree of an adjective.

The Positive degree of comparison is the basic level of comparison. This is the level where nothing is being compared. The positive degree is used to describe one person, item or group. Some examples - Smart, happy, beautiful, young, large.

When we compare items in the positive degree, we combine the adjective with 'as' before and after it. Examples:

  • Ritu is as intelligent as Rani.
  • John is as strong as Steve.
  • Mt. Abu is not as high as Mt. Everest.

2. Can we not split beautiful in the same manner as we split careful i.e. like beauti-ful?

No, we cannot. The word 'beauty' has two syllables. The word beautiful has three syllables.

3. Why is it important to use the article "the" twice in a sentence where there are two comparisons?

It is because we are using two adjectives in the comparison.

4. Is it necessary to use 'than' in a sentence while making a comparison?

Yes. We are comparing two items or persons in the comparative. When we compare two items in the comparative degree, we use 'than'. There are exceptions to this rule - elder to (not than), superior to, junior to. When selection of one of the two is implied we use "of the" (not than).

5. When do we use 'more' before an adjective?

In the comparative degree if the adjective is a two syllable or more than two syllable word we use 'more' before the adjective. Examples:

  • More beautiful (the word beautiful has three syllables)
  • More peaceful (the word peaceful has two syllables)

6. How to start a sentence using the word 'Little'?

Example: Little do we know what lies in store for us.

7. Explain the difference between "the few", "a few" and "few".

  • ‘The few’ not many, but all that is there
  • ‘A few’ means some
  • ‘few’ means hardly any

8. Why do we need to put an "er" word in a sentence that contains more than 2 syllables?

It is by rule that when we compare two things we use ‘er’ with some adjectives (2 syllables) in the comparative degree.

9. Is it correct to give a sentence as: The boy is richer than his two brothers?

Yes, it is correct.

10. What is the difference between a regular and an irregular adjective?

Regular Adjectives - In the comparative degree we use the suffix ‘er’ or use more before the adjective. Similarly, in the superlative degree we use the suffix ‘est’ or use most before the adjective.

Irregular Adjectives - When we change the degree, we change the word completely. We do not add ‘er’ or ‘est’.

11. Instead of 'Reshma's dress is prettier than that of Shama', can we write 'Reshma's dress is prettier than Shama's dress'?

Yes. Do not use the word dress twice. You can write - Reshma’s dress is prettier than Shama’s.

12. When do we use the word "few" and when do we use "little"?

The word ‘few’ denotes number. Plural countable nouns are used with ‘few’. ‘Little’ denotes quantity. Singular uncountable nouns are used with ‘little’.

13. In the comparative degree can we use "most other" instead of "many other".


14. Can we use "most of the girls" instead of "many other girls"?

No, we cannot.

15. How is the tense affected when we change the degrees of comparison in a sentence?

The tense does not change.

16. How to use 'besides' in joining two sentences?


  • There are few students here, besides their teacher.
  • Besides being an expert at analysing data, she is also good at coding.

17. Where and when is the word 'ought' to be used?

'Ought to' can be used:

  • to express duty or obligation - You ought to obey your parents.
  • to give advice or suggestion - You ought to eat well.
  • Ought to + perfect infinitive expresses an obligation not fulfilled in the past - You ought to have remembered my birthday. (but you didn’t)

18. When do we use ‘of the’ when making a comparison?

When the selection of one out of two persons or things is implied, then comparative degree is followed by ‘of the’. Example: She is wiser of the two sisters.