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Latin for Duolingo: Adjectives II, Lesson 3

Salvete omnes! Welcome back to Latin for Duolingo. This is an ongoing, unofficial course in Latin; if you would like to catch up with previous lessons, you can find a directory, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses at these links:

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
difficilis, e/ difficilior, difficilius/ dificillimus, a, um = difficult, more difficult, most difficult
facilis, e/ facilior, facilius/ facillimus, a, um = easy, easier, easiest
(other adjectives like similis, dissimilis, humilis, gracilis, also form their superlatives with –limus)
dubius, a, um/ magis dubius, a, um/ maxime dubius, a, um = doubtful, more doubtful, most doubtful
magnus, a, um/ major, majus (maior, maius)/ maximus, a, um = big (great), bigger, biggest
parvus, a, um/ minor, minus/ minimus, a, um = small, smaller, smallest

Other New Vocabulary
certus, a, um = certain, sure, determined (certiorem facio = inform, lit. “make more certain”)
dubius, a, um = doubtful (comparison uses the adverbs magis, maxime)
trado, tradere, tradidi, traditus, 3 = hand over, deliver

New Sentences
Equus gravior est cane (quam canis). = The horse is heavier than the dog.
Papilio 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 res gravissima. = This is a very serious matter.
Hic liber major est illo (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 primo (quam primus). = The second book was easier than the first.
Lucia pecuniam tradidit. = Lucia handed over the money.
Majores nostri latine locuti sunt. = Our ancestors spoke Latin. (“majores” literally “greater ones” is often used in the sense of “ancestors, forefathers, elders.”)
lex a majoribus tradita = a law handed down from our ancestors/ a traditional law
Majorem partem volo. = I want the bigger part.
Minor sum sorore meā (quam soror mea). = I am smaller/younger than my sister.
Domus minima est. = The house is very small.
Marcus est minimus natu. = 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 natu. = Paula is the oldest.
Esne certus? = Are you sure?
Quid certius morte est? = What is more certain than death?
Tu es certissimus omnium amicorum meorum. = You are the most true/certain of all my friends.
Gaius me de morte Luciae certiorem fecit. = Gaius informed me about Lucia’s death. (This construction is used very frequently in classical Latin: it literally means “to make more certain”.)
Mens dubia = a doubtful mind (dubius derives from the idea of wavering between two opposites, or “having double”)
Dubium habeo. = I have a doubt.
Nihil magis dubium est quam victoria. = Nothing is more doubtful than victory.
Victoria in proelio maxime 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.)
Mala magis quam pira mihi placent. = I like apples more than pears.
Raeda ❤❤❤❤❤ minus quam rubea constat. = The black car costs less than the red one.
Chocolatum mihi maxime placet. = I like chocolate the most (best).
Minime. = No/ Not at all.
Optime! = 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
De duobus malis, minus est semper eligendum. (Thomas a Kempis) = Of two evils the lesser must always be chosen.
Amicus certus in re incertā cernitur. (Ennius, Cicero) = A sure friend is discerned in an unsure matter. (A friend in need is a friend indeed.)

Next lesson we will continue with some further comparative and superlative adjectives, and perhaps some adverbs as well. Gratias vobis ago, et valete!

Next lesson: Adjectives 2, Lesson 4

August 9, 2017


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