"Το πιο φθηνό πρωινό."
Translation:The cheapest breakfast.
So...I had the same question that LenaKoutis asked. I have read the response that D gave, but I just want to make sure I understand. Is this sentence different in meaning from το φθηνότερο πρωινό? (I assume not). And if I understand correctly, in many contexts, there is no way to distinguish comparative and superlative- so using D's examples: Θέλω το φθηνότερο/το πιο φθηνό πρωινό means both "I want the cheaper breakfast" and "I want the cheapest breakfast," yes? However, based on the inclusion/exclusion of the definite article, can one distinguish in other sentences if the noun is plural? - Ex: Θέλω θηνότερα πρωινά. vs. Θέλω τα θηνότερα πρωινά. Is the first sentence "I want cheaper breakfasts" and the second sentence "I want the cheapest breakfasts"?
Is this sentence different in meaning from το φθηνότερο πρωινό?
No, it isn't, you are correct, this is simply an alternative way of saying this. The πιο+adj in Greek is the equivalent of more+adj in English for the adjectives that cannot form the comparative with the addition of -er. Unlike English however, where structures like 'more simple' instead of 'simpler' are unusual or even frowned upon, in Greek the two are interchangeable and correct, even for adjectives that can form the extended one-word comparative.
In many contexts, there is no way to distinguish comparative and superlative
Correct again, see also mizinamo's comment in this discussion.
can one distinguish in other sentences if the noun is plural?
The plural makes no difference.
Proper superlative in grammar terms is practically dead in modern Greek. It sounds so archaic, it's impressive! In its place, we use the the definite article + comparative.
Of course ambiguity ensues and, strictly speaking, the sentence above could mean either "I want the cheapest breakfast of all breakfasts" or "I want this breakfast that is cheaper than the other one"...
- πιο φθηνό = φθηνότερο
- το πιο φθηνό = το φθηνότερο
- πιο καλά = καλύτερα
- τα πιο καλά = τα καλύτερα (το πιο καλά doesn't make sense - "το" is neuter singular but "καλά" is neuter plural)
- πιο μακρυά = μακρύτερα
- η πιο μακρυά = η μακρύτερη
In either case, the version without the definite article is comparative (cheaper, better, further) and the version with the definite article is (usually) superlative (the cheapest, the best, the furthest).