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Comparison of Adjectives

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  1. Comparison of Adjectives Simple, simpler, simplest or complex, more complex, most complex?

  2. Terminology • There are three degrees of adjectives in Latin and in English: • Positive • Comparative • Superlative • Latin example: īrātus, īrātior, īrātissimus • English example: angry, angrier, angriest

  3. The Positive Degree • The positive degree refers to a basic quality of a person or thing and uses regular adjective forms. • English examples: bright, expensive • Latin examples: īrātus, brevis • The positive degree of a Latin adjective uses either first and second declension endings or third declension endings. • It is the form introduced in vocabulary.

  4. The Comparative Degree • The comparative degree compares the quality of one person or thing with another and uses “-er” or “more” or “rather” with the meaning of the adjective. • English examples: brighter, more expensive • Latin examples: īrātior, brevior

  5. Forming the Comparative • To form the comparative degree of a Latin adjective, first find the base of the adjective (take “-a” off of the nominative feminine singular). • Then add -ior (masc.+fem.) or -ius (neuter) to form the nominative singular. • For other cases, use the –ior base plus 3rd declension noun endings. • Example: īrātior, īrātius; brevior, brevius

  6. Full comparative chart

  7. The Superlative Degree • The superlative degree stresses the highest degree of a quality and uses “-est” or “most” or “very” with the meaning of the adjective. • English examples: brightest, most expensive • Latin examples: īrātissimus, brevissimus

  8. Forming the superlative • To form the superlative degree of a Latin adjective, take the adjective base and add –issim- plus 2-1-2 adjective endings. • Example: īrātissimus, -a, -um • Even if an adjective is originally 3rd declension (like brevis), it will take 2-1-2 endings in the superlative. • Exceptions with adjectives ending in –er and –lis are discussed in a later slide.

  9. Full superlative chart

  10. Mid-point practice • Let’s form the comparative and superlative of the following: • longus • longior/longius, longissimus, -a, -um • ingēns, ingentis • ingentior/ingentius, ingentissimus, -a, -um • fēlīx, fēlīcis • fēlīcior/fēlīcius, fēlīcissimus, -a, -um

  11. Now for the exceptions • Adjectives ending in –er: • If the adjective loses the –er in the fem. nom. sing., it will lose the –er in the comparative. • In the superlative, always add –rimus, -a, -um instead of –issimus, -a, -um. • Example: pulcher, pulchra, pulchrum • pulchrior/pulchrius; pulcherrimus, -a, -um

  12. -Lis words • With the following –lis words: facilis (easy), difficilis (hard), similis (like), dissimilis (different), gracilis (slender), and humilis (humble), • add –limus, -a, -um instead of –issimus, -a, -um in the superlative. • Examples: facillimus, -a, -um, but fidēlissimus, -a, -um

  13. Exceptions Practice • Please give the comp. and superlative for: • celer, celeris, celere • celerior/celerius, celerrimus, -a, -um • facilis, -e • facilior/facilius, facillimus, -a, -um • ācer, ācris, ācre • ācrior/ācrius, ācerrimus, -a, -um • ūtilis, -e • ūtilior/ūtilius, ūtilissimus, -a, -um

  14. Irregular adjectives • Just as in English (good, better, best), some Latin adjectives are compared irregularly. • Their comparative and superlative forms will need to be memorized.

  15. In summary • What are the five most important concepts you need to know to be able to form and translate the positive, comparative, and superlative degrees?