9.5 - Comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives

Read the following sentences:

1 Цей олівець - довгий.
This pencil is long.
long pencil
2 Цей олівець - довший.
This pencil is longer.
long pencil
3 А цей олівець - найдовший.
And this pencil is the longest.
long pencil

Example 1 gives the positive degree of the adjective, which simply describes the noun itself.

Example 2 gives the comparative degree of the adjective which, as its name suggests, compares the noun with another, i.e. the pencil in 2 is longer than the pencil in 1.

Example 3 gives the superlative degree of the adjective, defining the pencil as being the longest of all the pencils.

The positive degree

This has been addressed in pages 9.1 to 9.4.

The comparative degree

Here are some examples of comparatives of adjectives:

приємний
pleasant
приємніший
more pleasant
теплий
warm
тепліший
warmer
молодий
young
молодший
younger

The comparative form of adjectives in Ukrainian normally ends in -ший, -іший or, less frequently, in -жчий or -щий. The stem of the adjective can also change, but this should not be an obstacle to identifying the comparative.

The comparative may also be formed by putting більш or менш before the adjective:

Цей фільм менш цікавий. This film is less interesting.
Його книжка більш контроверсійна. His book is more controversial.

The superlative degree

The superlative of adjectives is straightforward, as it normally consists of the comparative with the prefix най-:

дешевий
cheap
дешевший
cheaper
найдешевший
cheapest
м'який
soft
м'якший
softer
найм'якший
softest
дорогий
dear
expensive
дорожчий
dearer
more expensive
найдорожчий
dearest
most expensive

There are a small number of adjectives which have irregular forms in the comparative and superlative:

добрий
good
кращий
better
найкращий
best
поганий
bad
гірший
worse
найгірший
worst
великий
large
більший
larger
найбільший
largest
малий
small
менший
smaller
найменший
smallest

To practise degrees of adjectives go to Exercise 9.5A.

Top
Part of the collection of resources at UkrainianLanguage.org.uk
© 2007 Marta Jenkala