- Exercise: comparative forms Score -/-
Adjectives are words that describe or modify another person or thing. In a sentence, they can act as a modifier or a predicative.
While in English an adjective doesn’t change when the noun changes, in Estonian an adjective should agree in number with the noun. Also, in 10 cases out of 14 the adjective has to be declined accordingly.
- See on suur maja. --- This is a big house.
- Need on suured majad. --- These are big houses.
There are 5 common suffixes that can be used to create new adjectives from nouns, adverbs or verbs.
1) References to material, place, time, manner:
-ne: This derivative suffix is added to a noun or adverb and corresponds to -en, -ful, -y in English.
- Mul on kuldne sõrmus. --- I have a gold(en) ring.
- Kui sa tuled, võta eilne ajaleht kaasa. --- When you come take yesterday's newspaper with you.
- Pärast ujumist olid mu bikiinid liivased. --- After swimming my bikinis were sandy.
2) Different characteristics:
-line: This is usually added to the genitive form of a noun.
|dark hair||tumedad juuksed||dark-haired||tumedajuukseline|
-lik: mainly added to the noun
-kas: added to the genitive form the of the noun
- Mul on jalas ruudulised püksid. --- I am wearing checkered pants.
- See kleit on väga naiselik. --- This dress is very ladylike.
- Mu abikaasa on töökas mees. --- My husband is a hard-working man.
3) Lack of certain traits:
-tu: This is added to the genitive form of the noun or to the -ma infinitive of the verb.
- See oli südametu tegu. --- This was a heartless deed.
- Tundmatu sõduri haud. --- The tomb of an unknown soldier.
- Võin öelda, et mu elu on üpriski muretu. --- I can say that my life is quite worry-free.
Adjectives can also end in various other suffixes:
- ik: metsik 'wild', lapsik 'childish'
- lane: aeglane 'slow', kahtlane 'suspicious'
- ldane: üksildane 'lonely', haruldane 'rare'
- ne: äärmine 'extreme, outermost', seesmine 'inner, internal'
- s: aus 'honest', ilus 'beautiful'
- (u)r: pahur 'grumpy', himur 'lustful'
- v: tugev 'strong', edev 'vain'
Comparative forms of adjectives
Adjectives have three degrees of comparison:
- the positive (ordinary) grade, as in väike 'small'
- the comparative (higher) grade, as in väiksem 'smaller'
- the superlative (highest) grade, as in väikseim 'smallest'
In Estonian, the comparative is constructed by adding the suffix -m to the genitive form.
Some adjectives, which have two syllables in the genitive form and end in -a or -u change to -e- instead before the comparative ending -m.
Adjectives that end in -ke(ne) usually lose this suffix and have the vowel -e- before the -m ending.
The superlative is formed by simply placing the word kõige 'most' before the comparative.
In addition to the superlative form with kõige, for some adjectives there is an alternative form with the ending -im or -em.
The adjective hea 'good' is irregular. Comparative - parem 'better'. Superlative - parim 'best'.
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