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Lesson 8: Comparison of adjectives and adverbs - part 1 | 1 2

Adverbs

Comparatives

When we compare the way in which two things are carried out in English we often use the comparative form of an adverbView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window. To do this we most commonly precede the adverb with 'more'.

For example:

Adverb Comparative
beautifully more beautifully

To form the comparative of most Latin adverbs, we use the accusative singular neuter of the comparative adjective and so the ending is often '-ius'.

For example:

Adjective Comparative adjective Adverb Comparative adverb
pulcher Masculine/Feminine
Nom.
pulchrior
Acc.pulchriorem
Neuter
pulchrius
pulchrius
pulchre pulchrius

Superlatives

When we compare the way in which more than two things are carried out in English we often use the superlative form of an adverb. To do this we precede it with 'most'.

For example:

Adverb Superlative
beautifully most beautifully

To form the superlative of most Latin adverbs we replace the ‘-us’ ending of the superlative adjective with '-e', so that the endings are most commonly '-issime', '-errime', '-illime' .

For example:

Superlative adjective Superlative adverb
pulcherrimus pulcherrime

Just as with adjectives, when it comes to translating Latin comparative and superlative adverbs, be aware that they are more flexible than those in English and can be expressed in a variety of different ways.

For example:

Adverb Meaning
facile easily
pulchre beautifully
tuto safely
Comparative adverb Meaning
facilius more easily, rather easily, too easily
pulchrius more beautifully, rather beautifully, too beautifully
tutius more safely, rather safely, too safely
Superlative adverb Meaning
facillime most easily, very easily, in an extremely easy way
pulcherrime most beautifully, very beautifully, in an extremely beautiful way
tutissime most safely, very safely, in an extremely safe way

Handy hint

‘Quam’

When ‘quam’ is used with a comparative adjective or adverb, it means ‘than’.

For example:

Latin

hoc messuagium fuit maius quam illud

English

This messuage was larger than that one

When ‘quam’ is used with a superlative adjective or adverb, it means ‘as ...as possible ’.

For example:

Latin English
quam maximus as great as possible
quam largissimus as large as possible
quam maxime as greatly as possible
quam largissime as largely as possible

Irregular adverbs

If an adjective is irregular, then it is often the case that the corresponding adverb will be irregular too. Compare these to the irregular adjectives we have already looked at in this lesson.

for example:

Adverbs Meaning
paulum a little
multum much
Comparative Meaning
minus less
plus more
Superlative Meaning
minime least
plurimum most

Adverbs which are not linked to corresponding adjectives can also be irregular but you are not likely to come across these.

Checklist

Are you confident with:

  • The meaning of comparative and superlative adverbs?
  • The form of comparative and superlative adverbs?
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