Comparison of Adverbs

If you can do something “well,” you can do something “better”; and if that's the case, why not do it “extremely well”? Adverbs have comparative degrees just like adjectives. As a matter of fact, their comparative forms are based on the comparative forms of adjectives. If you already know how adjectives compare, then you already know how adverbs do, both in form and use.

Table 7-6 Comparison of Adverbs

Positive

Comparative

Superlative

plā

plā nius

plā nissimē

(evenly)

(rather evenly)

(amazingly evenly)

miserē

miserius

miserrimē

(miserably)

(kind of miserably)

(very miserably)

suā viter

suā vius

suā vissimē

(sweetly)

(pretty sweetly)

(extremely sweetly)

potenter

potentius

potentissimē

(powerfully)

(sort of powerfully)

(unbelievably powerfully)

bene

melius

optimē

(well)

(better)

(best)

facile

facilus

facillimē

(easily)

(rather easily)

(really easily)

saepe

saepius

saepissimē

(often)

(too often)

(very often)

diū

diū tius

diū tissimē

(for a long time)

(for a rather long time)

(for a very long time)

magnopere

magis

maximē

(greatly)

(more greatly)

(most greatly)

If you examine these forms closely, you'll notice that they are either familiar or predictable. You already learned how to form adverbs from adjectives in the positive degree. The comparative degree is merely the neuter form of the comparative adjective (-ius). Since all adjectives in the superlative are first/second declension, all superlative adjectives make their adverbs by simply adding to the stem (-issimē or -imē).

There are only two really important irregular adverbs that you should know. One is the adverb for magnus: magnopere (“greatly”). It has magis for a comparative, and its superlative is predictable: maximē. The other irregular adverb is the superlative of multum (“much”), namely plurimum.

Practicing Adverbs

Fill in the blanks in this adverb formation and comparison chart:

Don't forget that comparatives and superlatives are like adjectives in meaning. The comparative adverb celerius for example means “more quickly” only if a direct comparison is being made (e.g., Frank runs more quickly than George). Otherwise it only means “pretty quick.” (e.g., Frank runs pretty quickly). The similar concept behind the superlative also applies.

Table 7-7 Vocabulary

aeternus, -a, -um

eternal

aqua, -ae, f.

water

aureus, -a, -um

golden

caput, capitis, n.

head

nsilium, consiliī, n.

plan, advice, assembly

versus, -a, -um

different, assorted

nus, -a, -um

kind, human, civilized

iuvenis, iuvenis

young

laetus, -a, -um

fertile, happy, fat

tus, -a, -um

wide

ra, -ae, f.

nature

bilis, -e

well known, upper class

paucī, -ae, -a

few

pauper, pauperis, paupere

poor (not wealthy)

s, pedis, m.

foot

quam, adv.

see page 76

simul, adv.

at the same time (simul ac [at the same time as])

singulus, -a, -um

individual, separate

tener, tenera, tenerum

soft, gentle, tender

valdē , adv.

very, intensely

varius, -a, -um

various, different, assorted

via, -ae, f.

road, way

virtū s, virtū tis, f.

manliness, courage, virtue, excellence

vus, -a, -um

living, alive

cadē , -ere, cecidī, sum

to fall, happen

disō -ere, didicī, — — —

to learn

praecipiē , -ere, -cē , -ceptum

to teach, take beforehand

surgē , -ere, surrexī , surrē ctum

to get up, rise

trā , -ere, trā didī , trā ditum

to hand over, surrender

, -ā re, -ā , -ā tum

to care for

labor, labē ris, m.

work

potestā s, potestā tis, f.

power

os, ossis, n.

bone

Latin-to-English Translations

Translate these Latin sentences into English.

  • Tum mī litēs Troiā et deās et deōs offendē runt.

  • Iam tempora erant neque gravia neque difficilia.

  • Aliī canē crius quam aliī latrā bant.

  • c habuit mulier vitam breviorem sed dulcem.

  • Quam magnus fuit pater tuus!

English-to-Latin Translations

Translate these English sentences into Latin:

  • The bad master cared for his slaves rather poorly.

  • My work used to be easier than your work.

  • The king held power for as long a time as he could.

  • The goddess was sad because she saw extremely difficult times.

  • Your dog used to love really big bones.

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