Latin/Adjectives 2 Lesson 3

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We continue to add comparative and superlative adjective forms this week. Remember that the standard comparative endings are –ior (m/f) and –ius (n.), and comparatives are declined similarly to 3rd declension nouns. Superlative endings are usually –issimus, a, um and superlatives are declined similarly to 1st/2nd declension adjectives. Forms that do not follow the regular pattern are listed below.

Comparisons may be formed either with quam + same case as what it is being compared to, or ablative case alone.

New Vocabulary/ Irregular Adjective Comparisons

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Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
difficilis, e
difficilior, difficilius
dificillimus, a, um
more difficult
most difficult
other adjectives like
similis, dissimilis, humilis, gracilis
also form their superlatives with –limus
facilis, e
facilior, facilius
facillimus, a, um
dubius, a, um
magis dubius, a, um
maxime dubius, a, um
more doubtful
most doubtful
magnus, a, um
major, majus (maior, maius)
maximus, a, um
big (great)
parvus, a, um
minor, minus
minimus, a, um

Other New Vocabulary

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Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
certus, a, um certain, sure, determined certiorem faciō = inform, lit. “make more certain”
trādō, trādere, trādidī, trāditus, 3 hand over, deliver

New Sentences

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Latin English Notes
Equus gravior est cane (quam canis). The horse is heavier than the dog.
Pāpiliō levior est ave (quam avis). The butterfly is lighter than the bird.
Elephantus maximus et gravissimus est. The elephant is very big and very heavy.
Haec est rēs gravissima. This is a very serious matter.
Hic liber major est illō (quam ille). This book is bigger than that one.
Haec via difficilior est illā (quam illa). This road is more difficult than that one.
Labor difficillimus erat. The work was very difficult.
Facillimum erat librum legere. It was very easy to read the book.
Secundus liber facilior erat prīmō (quam prīmus). The second book was easier than the first.
Lūcia pecūniam trādidit. Lucia handed over the money.
Majorēs nostrī latīnē locūtī sunt. Our ancestors spoke Latin.   majores literally greater ones is often used in the sense of “ancestors, forefathers, elders.”
lēx ā majoribus trādita a law handed down from our ancestors/ a traditional law  
Majorem pārtem volō. I want the bigger part.
Minor sum sorōre meā (quam soror mea). I am smaller / younger than my sister.
Domus minima est. The house is very small.
Mārcus est minimus nātū. Marcus is the youngest.   This construction seems to be more commonly used than juvenissimus – a literal translation is something like “Marcus is the least by birth”
Paula est maxima nātū. Paula is the oldest.
Esne certus? Are you sure?
Quid certius morte est? What is more certain than death?
Tū es certissimus omnium amīcōrum meōrum. You are the most true / certain of all my friends.
Gāius mē dē morte Lūciae certiorem fēcit. Gaius informed me about Lucia’s death.   This construction is used very frequently in classical Latin: it literally means “to make more certain”.
Mēns dubia a doubtful mind   dubius derives from the idea of wavering between two opposites, or “having double”
Dubium habeō. I have a doubt.
Nihil magis dubium est quam victōria. Nothing is more doubtful than victory.
Victōria in proeliō maximē dubia erat. Victory in the battle was very doubtful.
Here are a few sentences with comparative or superlative adverbs, so you can see how they are used; then some sentences from history and literature.
Māla magis quam pira mihi placent. I like apples more than pears.
Raeda nigra minus quam rubra cōnstat. The black car costs less than the red one.
Chocolātum mihi maximē placet. I like chocolate the most (best).
Minimē. No/ Not at all.
Optimē! Very well done/ terrific/ excellent!
Jupiter Optimus Maximus Jupiter best and greatest official epithet for the chief god of the Romans, and his temple on the Capitoline hill
Ursa Major, Ursa Minor the greater bear, the smaller bear
Dē duōbus malis, minus est semper ēligendum. Of two evils the lesser must always be chosen. Thomas a Kempis
Amīcus certus in rē incertā cernitur. A sure friend is discerned in an unsure matter. (A friend in need is a friend indeed.) Ennius, Cicero


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Next lesson we will continue with some further comparative and superlative adjectives, and perhaps some adverbs as well. Grātiās vōbīs agō, et valēte!