Yes, it's completely fine in English.
It means "of the two books that are under discussion, the one that is simpler".
"the simplest book" would only be used if the universe-of-discussion has more than two books.
For example, you might buy two books and then say, "I gave the bigger book to my sister and I kept the smaller book for myself."
While if you bought three books, you might say, "I gave the biggest book to my sister, the middle book to my brother, and I kept the smallest book for myself."
Oh, in that case we use το απλούστερο από τα δύο.
"I gave the bigger book to my sister and I kept the smaller book for myself."="Έδωσα το μεγαλύτερο/πιο μεγάλο βιβλίο στην αδερφή μου και κράτησα το μικρότερο/πιο μικρό για εμένα"
"I gave the biggest book to my sister, the middle book to my brother, and I kept the smallest book for myself."="Έδωσα το μεγαλύτερο βιβλίο στην αδερφή μου, το μεσαίο στον αδερφό μου, και το μικρότερο το κράτησα για εμένα"
More (in Comparative) and most (in Superlative) are used only for words that are 3+ syllables in length. Simple is two syllables, so only the suffixes are added.^.^
(There are of course, some exceptions, but the rule remains as it is. I would suggest that you use most only when you are too unsure about the adjective.)
I am not sure that the attempt to fix the problem is a success. I translated the above as " The simpler" book and got back the remark " " the simpler book incorrect without context" . The problem is that " The simplest book" is equally incorrect without context. Without context the only English sentence you can use is " The simple book", since both simpler and simplest are adjectives of comparison. Am I wrong in thinking that " το απλούστερο" is the simpler and " το πιο απλούστερο" is the simplest?
I am torn between letting ithis problem go and a desire to understand it! I have read all the above carefully but I still don't understand. Can you please translate the following for me: " I would like a book in Greek" " What would you like? " The simplest" " These two are very simple" " the simpler one please". I am sure I am trying your patience but I am now really confused.
"Θα ήθελα ένα βιβλίο στα ελληνικά" "Ποιο (or τί) θα θέλατε;" "Το απλούστερο (or το πιο απλό)" "Αυτά τα δύο είναι πολύ απλά" "Το απλούστερο (or το πιο απλό), παρακαλώ". In Greek, when we talk about a prevalence within a group, we use the superlative, even if that group consists of just two objects. We use the comparative only in direct comparisons for example "This book is simpler than the other=Αυτό το βιβλίο είναι απλούστερο (or πιο απλό) από το άλλο" but "This book is the simpler of the two"="Αυτό το βιβλίο είναι το απλούστερο από τα δύο" (in the second case we have a prevalence within a group, and no direct comparison is made, so superlative is used.) I hope you understand it now... If not, don't be afraid to ask again! ;)
Guru míle maith agat. Your explanation clears up my problem completely. I had never heard of the difference between direct and in a group comparison. Many thanks, I fear sometimes that I ask too much but fortunately I haven't yet plumbed the depths of your enormous patience!
I am not sure I understand the question correctly, but I'll try :D. For the word απλό we have:
Comparative: Πιο απλό or απλούστερο
Superlative (relative):Το πιο απλό or το απλούστερο
Superlative (absolute/meaning "very simple"): απλούστατο
So if we say "Το απλούστερο βιβλίο" we actually say "The most simple book" and not "The more simple book" in the case of two objects in Greek.
The superlative of adjectives in Modern Greek is made by
- The suffix -τατος/η/ο. Formal and a bit archaic like in Ancient Greek. Some forms are irregular, as for instance o μεγάλος---> μέγιστος, λίγος, μικρός--->ελάχιστος, καλός--->κάλλιστος
- With the form ο πιο or o/η/το περισσοτερο and the adjective i.e ο πιο όμορφος, ο περισσότερο όμορφος, η πιο καλή, η περισσότερο καλή, το πιο καλό, το περισσότερο καλό etc. More usual and informal, the 1. is going to extinct...
I'd like to ask why the adjective απλούστερο , which has, according to the previous examples of the lesson, a comparative suffix, is translated by the superlative ? Is it because it is preceded by the article Το and not followed by από ? So, would I translate "Αυτό το βιβλίο είναι απλούστερο από το άλλο " by "this book is simpler than the other one "?
And last question ;) : does the superlative απλούστατος exist, like νεότατος for example?
Relative superlative in Greek is formed by definite article + comparative.
Αυτό το βιβλίο είναι απλούστερο= This book is more simple.
Αυτό το βιβλίο είναι το απλούστερο = This book is the most simple (one).
It doesn't matter if it is followed by από. Απλούστατος is absolute superlative meaning "very simple".