Latin for Duolingo: Adjectives II, Lesson 4
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:
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- Previous lesson: Adjectives II, lesson 3
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This lesson we’ll continue studying Latin adjectives, including comparatives and superlatives that may be irregular or formed in an unusual way. We’ll also look at a few comparative and superlative adverbs, and have a “teaser” for a future lesson on participles.
There are a few irregular comparatives and superlatives this lesson; some of them have no positive forms. Latin adverbs are commonly formed from adjectives: for example, the 1st/2nd declension adjective liber, libera, liberum = free; libere = freely. The 3rd declension adjective fortis, e = brave; fortiter = bravely. Many other adverbs are formed in this way, although it is not an absolute rule. Adverbs can have comparative and superlative degrees as well: the comparative is the same as the neuter (acc.) s. of the comparative adjective: latior, latius (adj.) = wider; latius (adv.) = more widely. The superlative adverb is formed by dropping the –us of the superlative adjective and adding –e: facillimus, a, um = easiest; facillime (adv.) = most easily. I’m not going to give a large number of sentences with these adverbs, but they do crop up in general usage and it helps to know the basic principle.
Finally, a teaser for a future lesson: did you know that many verbs can act as adjectives? It is a verbal adjective called a participle, and Latin literature is full of them. We’ll look at two types of participles in this lesson, the present active participle and the perfect passive participle. If you’ve followed along you have seen some present active participles already: esuriens, esurientis = hungering, hungry; sitiens, sitientis = thirsting, thirsty. If derived from a first conjugation verb the ending is –ans, -antis (pugnans, pugnantis = fighting); if derived from 2nd-4th conjugation verbs the ending is –ens, -entis. These present active participles are declined like 3rd declension adjectives. Perfect passive participles are the 4th principal part of regular verbs. You have seen a few of these used as adjectives: praeteritus = having been gone past; rectus = having been made straight; salsus = having been salted. You’ll notice that these have a passive voice sense, and they are declined like 1st/2nd declension adjectives. But since they are also verbs, they can express action and take verbal modifiers. Much of advanced Latin involves learning to navigate around extensive participial phrases and clause constructions; we’ll keep sentences simple today!
New Vocabulary/ Irregular Adjective Comparisons
miser, misera, miserum/ miserior, miserius/ miserrimus, a, um = wretched/ more wretched/ most wretched
(other adjectives ending in –er in the nom. s. m also form their superlatives by adding –rimus; acer/acrior/acerrimus, pulcher/pulchrior/pulcherrimus, celer/celerior/celerrimus – comparatives are formed regularly)
multus, a, um/ plus (neuter noun)/ plurimus, a, um = much/ more/ most
multi, ae, a/ plures, plura/ plurimi, ae, a = many/ more/ very many
(the following have comparative and superlative forms, but the positive form is not used)
exterior = outer/ extremus = outermost
inferior = lower/ imus or infimus = lowest
interior = inner/ intimus = innermost
posterior = later/ postremus = last
prior = former/ primus = first
superior = higher/ supremus or summus = highest
ulterior = farther/ ultimus = farthest
Other New Vocabulary*
latus, a, um = wide
acer, acris, acre (3rd declension adj.) = sharp, keen, bitter (superlative in –rimus)
diligens, diligentis (opposite is negligens) = careful, diligent
acriter (adv.) = sharply, bitterly
late = widely
diligo, diligere, dilexi, dilectus (3) = love, value, care for
Multas gratias! = Many thanks!
Multum vinum bibit. = He drinks much wine.
Multum est. = It is important.
In multam noctem locuti sumus. = We talked late into the night.
Non multum dormit. = He does not sleep much. (adv.)
Multi fortissimi viri mortui sunt. = Many very brave (mighty) men died.
Plus aquae volo. = I want more water. (plus is here a neuter singular noun, used with the genitive)
Plus minusve. = More or less. (to show that the figure is approximate – of numbers in counting, even on grave markers for years)
Milites estis, et, quod plus est, Romani estis. = You are soldiers, and what is more, you are Romans.
Lucia plus quam viginti annos nata est. = Lucia is more than twenty years old.
Paula plures libros quam Lucia habet. = Paula has more books than Lucia.
Volo plura holera edere. = I want to eat more vegetables.
Quid plura? = What more? (often used rhetorically when drawing conclusions; it implies, “what more is there to say?”)
Plurimi homines hoc faciunt. = Most people (a great many people) do this.
Tu es ultimus Romanorum. = You are the last of the Romans. (This is a nice compliment to pay someone who exemplifies the classic virtues of nobility, courage, and dedication to duty and country).
Gaius miserrimus erat. = Gaius was very miserable.
Raeda Paulae celerrima est. = Paula’s car is very fast.
Curre celerius! = Run faster! (adv.)
Curre quam celerrime! = Run as fast as possible! (quam + a superlative adds the “as possible” meaning)
Marcus quam plurimum legit. = Marcus reads as much as possible/ the most he can.
Parentes liberos diligunt (amant). = The parents love their children./ The parents are loving their children. (In English we use the present participle to form the present progressive tense, but Latin present tense can express both meanings.)
Parentes diligentes sunt. = They are loving (caring) parents. (this is a present active participle; note it is an adjective here, not a verb.)
Discipulus diligens erat. = He was a careful/ diligent student.
Feles diligo. = I love cats.
Dilecta mea pulcherrima est. = My beloved is very beautiful. (dilecta is a perfect passive participle of diligo)
Faber diligentissimus est. = He is a very careful craftsman.
Latissimum flumen transivimus. = We crossed a very wide river.
culter acer/ ira acris/ vinum acre = a sharp knife/ sharp (sudden) anger/ bitter wine (vinegar)
Acriter pugnant. = They are fighting bitterly.
Milites, acriter pugnantes, hostes vicerunt. = The soldiers, fighting bitterly, conquered the enemies.
superioribus temporibus = in former times/ previously (lit., in higher times)
longe lateque = far and wide
datum/data = something given/ things given (also from the perfect participle of do, “data” we have our English word “date”, originally referring to the time when a letter or other document was given or dictated – e.g., “data die X Kalendarum Augustarum” or July 23.)
a priori = from the earlier (in philosophy, knowledge independent of experience)
a posteriori = from the latter (in philosophy, knowledge dependent on experience)
in extremis = in extreme circumstances; at the point of death
summa cum laude = with highest honor
Multum, non multa. (Pliny Junior) = Not many things, but much. (In education, better to study deeply rather than gain shallow knowledge of many subjects. “Less is more.”)
I hope this lesson has been clear and helpful for you. As always, if you have questions or comments, please leave a comment below and I will try to respond. After studying adjectives, I think we will go back to verbs for a time for the next series of lessons. Bonam fortunam et valete!
Next lesson: Pluperfect Tense, lesson 1
Gratias! Yes, unfortunately I have heard the same from other users. I don't know why that happens; I am able to reach them with no problems. I encourage you to file a bug report with Duolingo if possible. The vocabulary only is available on the first Memrise course linked above, and the complete sentences are on the second Memrise link, hosted by zsocipuszmak. Between the two you should be able to get the essentials of the missing lessons.