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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

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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

The end

The End

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