Luxembourgish Lessons #12: Comparisons
Welcome to number twelve of the Luxembourgish lessons, which will discuss the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives.
Forming the Comparative
Under most circumstances in Luxembourgish, the comparative is formed simply by complementing the adjective with the word méi (more). For example, schéin (beautiful) becomes méi schéin (more beautiful).
Comparative adjectives inflect like positive adjectives
Forming the Superlaitve
To form the superlative in Luxembourgish, the suffix -st is added to the adjective. Therefore, schéin would become schéinst (most beautiful). Compare the inflection of the positive form of schéin to the superlative:
For adjectives that end in s or z, only -t(en) is added to the end. The adjective kuerz (short), for instance, would have the superlative form of kuerzt(en).
If a superlative is a predicate adjective, it can either take the same structure or the adverbial structure am + -sten. For example, the sentence "This book is the most popular" can translate to either of the following:
- Dëst Buch ass dat beléiftst
- Dëst Buch ass am beléiftsten
Luxembourgish also has the absolute superlative, meaning a superlative form that cannot be exceeded at all. It is formed by adding the prefix aller- to a superlative adjective. For instance, beléiftst would become allerbeléiftst(en).
Not all adjectives follow this pattern. Some common adjectives take their own forms when changing to either the comparative or superlative. These include (but are not limited to):
- gutt, besser, am beschten (good, better, best)
- vill, méi, am meeschten (a lot, more, most)
- wéineg, manner, am mannsten (few, fewer, fewest)*
It is also important to know that some adjectives do not decline in the comparative form. The comparative manner for example does not decline. Inflection is also optional for some adjectives in the positive. The adjective vill (a lot, many) can inflect as villen, villt, vill, vill (masc., neuter, fem., pl.) or remain as vill.
The adjective wéineg does have a different set of comparative and superlative forms (e.g. wéineger, am wéinegsten), but are often supplemented with the comparative and superlative forms of the adjective mann (little, few)