Wednesday, May 1, 2013


This is an activity I created for my B1 students in order to practise the use of comparatives and superlatives with vocabulary related to the house.

After having a quick revision of comparatives and superlatives, something that should be quite clear for a B1 student, I introduced the adverbs "much, a lot and far" for big differences and "a little, slightly and a bit" for small differences:
- This chair seems far more comfortable than that one.
- This sofa is only a bit cheaper than the one we saw yesterday.

Then I taught them the structure as... as... which some of them had already seen the previous year in A2+:
- This chest of drawers is not as expensive as the cupboard.

Having said that, we had an interesting (quite heated at some point) discussion on the kind of furniture you could find in Ikea (there was an article about Ikea flatpack furniture in the textbook: Face2Face intermediate CUP). Of course they had to compare it with what you could find in other furniture shops, or even with what they had at home, in terms of price, quality, design and so on. I must say some of them had a very high opinion of this store, something that totally eludes me. And most of them didn't care about having to put the furniture together themselves; Homer Simpson would probably have a different opinion about this since he is not that good at DIY.

Once they had practised the use of comparatives and learnt new vocabulary about the house it was about time to give them some homework: a for and against essay talking about the advantages and disadvantages of shopping in Ikea. We had a look at the structure of the composition -four paragraphs- and the connectors I wanted them to use; of course the use of comparatives was absolutely mandatory.

And now an exercise for all of you, rewrite the following sentences using the word in bold. Both sentences must have the same meaning:

1. This fitted wardrobe is smaller than the one we have at home.
- Our wardrobe is    not as small as         this one.

2. The quality of the furniture is not as bad as I expected.
The quality of the furniture      is better than I       expected.

3. This mattress seems less comfortable than that one.
This mattress    doesn't seem as comfortable     as that one.

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