Comparison of Adjectives

There are two general forms.

(1) First Form

Comparative -τερος -τερα -τερον

Superlative -τατος -τατη -τατον

(a) These terminations are added to the adjective stem. Thus:-

πιστος faithful

πιστοτερος πιστοτερα πιστοτερον – more faithful

ευγενης noble

ευγενεστερος ευγενετερα ευγενετερον – more noble

Βαθυς – deep

Βαθυτερος Βαθυτερα Βαθυτερον – deeper

and :-

πιστοτατος πιστοτατη πιστοτατον – most faithful

ευγενεστατος ευγενεστατη ευγενεστατον – most noble

Βαθυτατος Βαθυτατη Βαθυτατον – deepest

(b) The stem-ending ο (in the First Form of adjectives) when preceded by a short vowel, is changed in the comparative and superlative into ω. Thus:-

σοφος wise

σοφωτερος σοφωτερα σοφωτερον – wiser

σοφωτατος σοφωτατη σοφωτατον – wisest

νεος new

νεωτερος νεωτερα νεωτερον newer

νεωτατος νεωτατη νεωτατον newest

(c) The declension of the First form of comparative and superltive follows that of the First Form of the adjectives.

(2) Second Form

Comparative in -ιων -ιον (-ιον).

Superlative in -ιστος, -ιστη -ιστον

(a) In this form the adjective stem is generally modified.

μεγας great,

Comparative μειζων (for μεγιων), once μειζοτερος, 3 John 4

Superlative μεγιστοσ greatest

ταχυς swift ταχιων ταχιστος

καλος fair καλλιων καλλιστος

πολυς much; plural many πλειων πλειστος

(b) Several comparatives and superlatives are ‘irregular’ , i.e. formed from different roots. (So in English good, better, best ; bad, worse, worst).

αγαθος good Βελτιων κρεισσων Βελτιστος κρατιστος

κακος evil κακιων χειρων κακιστος

μικρος little μικροτερος ελασσων ελαχιστος

Once ελαχιστοτερος “less than the least,” in Ephesians 3:8

(c) Comparatives of the Second form are declined like σωφρων, except that is some cases contraction is caused by dropping the ν. Thus μειζω (= μειζοα) instead of μειζονα, and μειζους (-μειζοες) instead of μειζονες.

(d) Comparative and superlative without a positive:-

(προ preposition, before) προτερος former, προτος first.

Superlative without comparative positive:-

(υψος, height) υψιστος, highest

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