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Latin Grammar. Comparison of Adjectives. Comparison of Adjectives. In English, adjectives have three degrees: Positive degree— old Comparative degree— older Superlative degree— oldest Compare: new, newer, newest ugly, uglier, ugliest good, better best

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Latin grammar

Latin Grammar


of Adjectives

Comparison of adjectives
Comparison of Adjectives

  • In English, adjectives have three degrees:

    • Positive degree—old

    • Comparative degree—older

    • Superlative degree—oldest

  • Compare:

    • new, newer, newest

    • ugly, uglier, ugliest

    • good, better best

    • beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful

Positive comparative and superlative degrees
Positive, Comparative, and Superlative Degrees

  • Latin, too, has these degrees

    • longus

    • longior

    • longissimus

  • Compare:

    • altus, altior, altissimus

    • stultus, stultior, stultissimus

    • bonus, melior, optimus

Comparative degree
Comparative Degree

  • longus, -a, -um = long

  • To make its comparative, put –ioron its stem: longior

  • Other examples:

    • stultus ➔ stultior

    • facilis➔ facilior

Comparative degree1
Comparative Degree

  • The form in –ioris actually masculine and feminine.

  • The neuter ends in –ius.

  • So the full name of the comparative form is

    longior, longius(or longior, -ius)

  • Compare:

    stultior, stultius(stultior, -ius)

    facilior, facilius(facilior, -ius)

Declining third declension adjectives
Declining Third Declension Adjectives.

  • You may remember that most third-declension adjectives are i-stems and have i-stem endings.

Declining comparative adjectives
Declining Comparative Adjectives

  • Comparatives are third-declension, but they aren’t i-stems, so they use consonant stem endings.


To make a superlative, add –issimus to the adjective stem.


longus➔ longissimus

stultus➔ stultissimus

audāx➔ audācissimus


All adjectives whose first form ends in –er, oddly, add –rimus.


pulcher➔ pulcherrimus

miser➔ miserrimus

celer➔ celerrimus


All a few adjectives that end in –ilis, like facilis and similis make their superlatives like so:


facilis➔ facillimus

similis➔ simillimus

Good news
Good News

  • Superlatives are easy to decline.

  • They all decline just like multus, -a, -um

Irregular comparatives and superlatives
Irregular Comparatives and Superlatives

  • Just as English has good, better, best and bad, worse, worst, Latin has some irregular adjectives.

    bonus, melior, optimus

    malus, peior, pessimus

    multus, plus, plūrimus

    magnus, maior, maximus