ADJECTIVES

Adjectives in Greek agree according to case, gender and number of the described noun. The accents of adjective don't change position unless they act as a noun. When so, the accent drops by one syllable in the genitive singular. The declensions of adjectives are here.

DEGREES OF ADJECTIVES

The degrees of adjectives are positive, comparative and superlative. The positive of the adjective is used to show a characteristic of something. The comparative is used when something is said to have a characteristic which is greater than of another thing. There are two kinds of superlative-relative and absolute. The relative superlative is used to express that something has a characteristic, which is the most intense compared to the rest of the things talked about, while the absolute superlative just states the fact that something has a lot of the characteristic. There are two ways of creating the comparative and relative and absolute superlative in Greek. The first way, in which I will show, is the safest because although Greek is full of irregularities, this method cannot possibly have any. To make the comparative, add the word πιο (more) before the positive of the adjective. Πιο can only be used this way. "More" as in "more milk" is πιο πολύς or περισσότερος.  The relative superlative is made by adding the definite article to the comparative of the adjective, while the absolute superlative is made by adding πολύ to the positive of the adjective. For example, take γλυκός.

γλυκός

Greek

English

Positive

γλυκός

sweet

Comparative

πιο γλυκός

sweeter

Relative Superlative

ο πιο γλυκός

the sweetest

Absolute superlative

πολύ (πολύ)γλυκός

very (very) sweet

The second way of making the comparative and superlatives is by adding suffixes to the positive stem. To make the comparative, drop the grammatical ending and add a vowel plus "τερος" to the end of the stem. If the positive of the adjective ends in "ος" the vowel that goes before the suffix is "ο." Exceptions are καλός (good), μεγαλός (big) and πρώτος (first), which use the vowel "υ." In the adjective ends in "υς" then the vowel would be "υ," while if the adjective ending is "ης" or "ες" then the comparative ending would be "έστερος." The accent of the comparative always goes on the vowel before the comparative suffix "τερος." Ελαφρότερος, κοντότερος and χοντρότερος are the only three comparative which can change the vowel from "ο" to "υ." They can be written and said as ελαφρύτερος, κοντύτερος and χοντρύτερος.

While the relative superlative is made by adding the definite article in front of the comparative of the word, the absolute superlative is made by adding the vowel-mentioned above-plus "τατος." Hence the adjective γλυκός can make the comparative and superlative as shown below.

γλυκός

Greek

English

Positive

γλυκός

sweet

Comparative

γλυκότερος

sweeter

Relative Superlative

ο γλυκότερος

the sweetest

Absolute superlative

γλυκότατος

very (very) sweet

This method of making the comparative and superlative have irregularities. The complete list is shown below.

Translation

Positive

Comparative

Absolute Superlative

simple

απλός

απλούστερος

απλούστατος

old

γέρος

γέροντότερος

-

bad

κακός

χειρότερος

χείριστος

good

καλός

καλύτερος

άριστος

small (amount of)

λιγός

λιγότερος

ελάχιστος

big, large

μεγάλος

μεγαλύτερος

μέγιστος

small (size)

μίκρος

μικρότερος

ελάχιστος

much, many

πολύς

περισσότερος (rarely πιότερος)

-

Some comparatives have no positive degree. This is because they are derived from adverbs. They are three:

From κάτω (down) one gets κατώτερος (lower) and κατώτατος (lowest).

From άνω (up) one gets ανώτερος (upper, higher) and ανώτατος (highest).

From υπέρ (above) one gets υπέρτερος (higher) υπέρτατος (highest).

Adjective without comparatives are adjectives referring to materials, origin and relation, place and time and unchangeable situations. The comparative of participles can only be made with the phrasal comparatives with "πιο" rather than the suffix "-τερος."

ADVERBS FROM ADJECTIVES

As one adds "-ly" to adjectives to make adverbs in English, in Greek on replaces the adjective ending "-ος" and "-υς" with "-α" and "-ια" respectively. Hence the comparative adjective endings "-τερος" and "-τατος" become "-τερα" and "-τατα" respectively.

Adjective ending in "-ης" and "-ες" form their adverbs replacing these endings with "ως." Adverbs, which are derived from adjective, most commonly, have "-α" as an ending. Several adverbs that end in "-α" can also end in "-ως." For example, "βέβαια" and "βεβαίως."

NUMBERS

Words that usually act as adjectives and sometimes as nouns are numbers.


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