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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