Experience III, Lesson 4: Adjectives and Comparison

Learning the comparative and superlative adjective

In English adjectives are divided into three degrees: positive, comparative, superlative.
Normally we translate the comparative and superlative as relative, i.e. in relation to something else.
E.g. long, longer, longest; beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful
N.B. however there is also an absolute translation that is also possible, when it is not in comparison to something else.
Comparative: rather long, somewhat long, too long, quite long
Superlative: very beautiful

Forms of Comparative Adjectives

PositiveComparativeSuperlative
M.,F.,N.Masc.-Fem.NeuterM.,F.,N.
-us or -is-ior-ius-issimus
honestus, -a, -um
rapidus, a, um
honestior
rapidior
honestius
rapidius
honestissimus, -a, -um
rapidissimus, a, um
piger, -gra, -grumpigriorpigrius*pigerrimus*
nobilis, nobilenobiliornobiliusnobilissimus, -a, -um
prudens, prudentis
celer, celeris
prudentior
celerior
prudentius
celerius
prudentissimus, -a, -um
*celerrimus*

Note: whether Block I (honestus, piger) or Block II (nobilis, prudens), the Comparative and Superlative all form the same. (Except the exceptions below.)

Using the Adjectives

Positive Adjectives

The positive adjectives we already learned to form in Block I Nouns and Adjectives. The superlative adjectives will form in the exact same way.

In a quick table - Positive Adjectives

SingularPlural
Masc.Fem.Neut.Masc.Fem.Neuter
Nom. = Subj.honestushonestahonestumhonestihonestaehonesta
Gen. = Poss.honestihonestaehonestihonestorumhonestarumhonestorum
Acc. = Obj.honestumhonestamhonestumhonestoshonestashonesta
Abl.honestohonestàhonestohonestishonestishonestis
Dat. = I.Obj.honestohonestaehonestohonestis honestishonestis

Comparative Adjectives

The comparative adjectives will form the same as the Block II Nouns. Masculine and Feminine follow the nouns like gubernator, gubernatoris; doctor, doctoris. Neuter follows the nouns like corpus, corporis; tempus, temporis.

In a quick table - Comparative Adjective

Masc.-Fem.Neuter
SingularPluralSingularPlural
Nom. = Subj.honestiorhonestioreshonestiushonestiora (-ia)
Gen. = Poss.honestiorishonestiorum (-ium)honestiorishonestiorum (-ium)
Acc. = Obj.honestioremhonestiores [-is]honestiushonestiora (-ia)
Abl.honestiore (-i)honestioribushonestiore (-i)honestioribus
Dat. = I.Obj.honestiorihonestioribushonestiorihonestioribus

N.B.

Superlative Adjective

Superlatives are formed for all adjectives by adding the -issimus, -issima, -issimum ending.

However there are two exceptions:

1. There are 6 adjectives ending in -lis which form the superlative by adding -illimus.
difficilis, dissimilis, facilis, gracilis, humilis, similis
2. There are about 20 adjectives, most ending in -er, which form the superlative by adding -errimus.
acer, aeger, alacer, asper, ater, auster, celeber, celer, creber, integer, macer, miser, piger, pulcer, pulcher, scaber, uber [prosperus -> PROSPERRIMUS, vetus -> VETERRIMUS]
facilis -> facillimus = easiest
*piger -> pigerrimus = laziest
*celer -> celerrimus = fastest
Now go on to Homework 4

"You have to be thinking, or you will get all confused." - Fr. Foster

Third Experience Latin - Fr. Reginald Foster

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