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Go Off the Deep End

Jan 12 2016
Have you ever wanted to change your life? Maybe, you wanted to wear a new style of clothing or change your hair to a different color. Perhaps, you wanted to get more exercise, so you began playing a new sport. For some people, changes like this can be drastic. You might decide that taking risks can make you feel more alive. This might be true, but your friends may think that you’re going off the deep end.

When a person goes off the deep end, they choose to do things without thinking about the results. For example, going skydiving or taking a fire walking class might sound like fun, but these activities can also be dangerous. It is important to think about the risks of these things before you do them. If you take too many risks and make too many drastic changes, your friends and family will begin to worry.

Marni and Jessica are worried about Gary. Has he gone off the deep end? Find out in today’s English lesson.
Jessica: Have you noticed anything unusual about Gary lately?
Marni: Only that he seems to be going off the deep end!
Jessica: Oh, good. It’s not just me.
Marni: No. Definitely not.
Jessica: Yesterday, I overheard him say that he’s thinking about getting a mohawk.
Marni: What? He told me that he is signing up for a fire walking course.
Jessica: I overheard him mention the word “skydiving” when he was on the phone with someone this morning.
Marni: Well, according to Brian, Gary asked him if he wanted to go to the “Running of the Bulls” in Spain next year.
Jessica: What is going on? Why is he acting like this?
Marni: Rumor has it that when he learned Sara wasn’t interested, he decided to do something drastic.
Jessica: But why?
Marni: I don’t know. I guess that he feels like taking risks makes him feel more alive. And possibly braver, too?
Jessica: I guess I can understand that. But I still think he’s gone off the deep end.
Marni: Seriously. A mohawk?
Gary has been making some drastic changes in his life, and his friends have noticed. Jessica and Marni begin to talk about some of the strange things they haveoverheard. Gary is planning to get a mohawk hairstyle and go skydiving according to Jessica. Marni shares the rumors that she has heard. She says that Gary is going to practice fire walking and travel to Spain.

Jessica is a little worried about Gary, and she asks Marni why he might be doing these things. Although Marni doesn’t know the answer, she can guess. She thinks that Gary feels better when he is taking risks. It might make him feel braver than he felt in the past. That could be true, but his friends still think that he’s gone off the deep end.

Did you ever go off the deep end? Did you take any risks in order to feel braver?
Grammar Point
Comparatives and Superlatives

Marni and Jessica are talking about Gary. Marni says, “I guess that he feels like taking risks makes him feelmore alive. And possibly braver, too?” She uses twocomparative adjectives.

Comparatives and superlatives help us compare people, places, or things.

There are two ways to form comparatives. The first way is for long adjectives, which have three or more syllables. With long adjectives, we use more to form a comparative phrase with than. For example, “Sarah ismore beautiful than Martha.” The second way is forshort adjectives, which have only one or two syllables. With short adjectives, we add -er to the end of the word, as in, “Jacob is smarter than Ed.” For short adjectives ending in y, like “happy,” we drop the “y” and add -ier. For example, “Lucy is happier than Rob.”

Be careful! Some two-syllable adjectives are irregular. When Marni says, “…taking risks makes him feel more alive,” she uses the comparative more aliveAlive only has two syllables, but we never say “aliver.”

Marni uses another comparative when she says, “And possibly braver….” She doesn’t use than after these comparative adjectives because she is reducing the comparative grammar. She could have said, “I guess that he feels like taking risks makes him feel more alive than he felt before. And possibly braver than before, too?”

Similarly, we form superlatives in two different ways, depending on the length of the adjective. With long adjectives we use the most, as in “He is the most intelligent person I know.” With short adjectives, we add-est to the end of the word. For example, “Johnny is thefastest runner on the team.” For short adjectives ending in y, we drop the “y” and add -iest, as in, “She is the prettiest girl in the world.”

Which is correct, “The mountains are peacefuler than the city,” or, “The mountains are more peaceful than the city”?

  1. Which of these is not an activity that Gary plans to do?
  2. What do Jessica and Marni think?
  3. The phrase “According to Steve” is the same as “__.”
  4. Which sentence does not have a comparative adjective?

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