Latin Language Blog

Thank you! Please check your inbox for your confirmation email.
You must click the link in the email to verify your request.

Latin Adjectives II Posted by on Feb 19, 2012 in Latin Language

DEGREES OF SIGNIFICANCE


Comparative degree

 The systematic degrees of comparison are: inferiority, equality and superiority. The comparison of inferiority and equality is made with an adverb that modifies the adjective in positive degree and the second term (which will be in the same case as the first) introduced by quam.

  Titus minus doctus quam Marcus est.

  Titus tam doctus quam Marcus est.

The comparison of superiority in Latin offers a different system. The periphrasis magisquam (more … than) can be found in Latin, but in very few adjectives (those ending in -eus,-ius,-uus). The comparative of superiority is formed regularly with the suffix -ior,-ius, added to the root of the adjective. This suffix is declined by the third declension. An example with the comparative of superiority of the adjective fortis,-e:

 

Singular

Plural

Masculine/feminine

Neuter

Masculine/feminine

Neuter

Nominative

fortior

fortius

fortiores

fortiora

Vocative

fortior

fortius

fortiores

fortiora

Accusative

fortiorem

fortius

fortiores

fortiora

Genitive

fortioris

fortiorum

Dative

fortiori

fortioribus

Ablative

fortiore

fortioribus

The second term of this comparative superiority can be expressed in Latin in the same way as in the comparative of inferiority and equality introduced by quam and in the same case that the first term:

Titus doctior quam Marcus est.

But when the first term is in the nominative, vocative or accusative, the second term can also be expressed in ablative (comparative ablative), without a particle:

Titus doctior Marco est.


Superlative degree

The superlative degree of adjectives express a quality in a high degree. In Latin it is formed with the following suffixes, all declined as adjectives of the first class, added to the root of the adjective:

    -issimus, -a, -um: is the suffix used by most of the adjectives.

    -errimus, -a, -um: for adjectives ending in -er (pulcher, superl.: pulcherrimus).

    -limus, -a, -um: for some adjectives ending in -lis (facilis, superl.: facillimus).

The superlative may appear as absolute form (mons altissimus, ‘a very high mountain’), or in a relative form (mons altissimus omnium montium, ‘the highest of all mountains’). On the relative superlative the second term can be expressed in the following ways:

    – In genitive: mons altissimus omnium montium.

    – Ex + ablative: mons altissimus ex omnibus montibus.

    – Inter + accusative: mons altissimus inter omnes montes.


IRREGULAR COMPARATIVES & SUPERLATIVES

POSITIVE

COMPARATIVE OF SUPERIORITY

SUPERLATIVE

bonus
(good)

melior

optimus

malus
(bad)

peior

pessimus

magnus
(big)

maior

maximus

parvus
(small)

minor

minimus

Tags: , , , ,
Share this:
Pin it