ADJECTIVES

Pridavniky

Contents:

Inflection   •   Adverbs   •   Comparison
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Inflection (Sklanjanje)

Adjectives match with the noun they modify in gender, case and number. Declension is always regular. However, three things are to be remembered:

The basic endings (applying not only to adjectives, but also to possessive pronouns, demonstrative pronouns and the like) are:

singular plural
masculine
(animate)
masculine
(inanimate)
neuter feminine masculine
(animate)
masculine
(inanimate)
neuter feminine
Nom -y (-i) -o (-e) -a -i -e
Acc -ogo (-ego) -y (-i) -yh (-ih)
Gen -ogo (-ego) -oj (-ej) -yh (-ih)
Dat -omu (-emu) -oj (-ej) -ym (-im)
Ins -ym (-im) -ojų (-ejų) -ymi (-imi)
Loc -om (-em) -oj (-ej) -yh (-ih)

Example of the declension of hard adjectives: dobry „good”:

singular plural
masculine
(animate)
masculine
(inanimate)
neuter feminine masculine
(animate)
masculine
(inanimate)
neuter feminine
Nom dobry dobro dobra dobri dobre
Acc dobrogo dobry dobrų dobryh
Gen dobrogo dobroj dobryh
Dat dobromu dobroj dobrym
Ins dobrym dobrojų dobrymi
Loc dobrom dobroj dobryh

Example of the declension of soft adjectives: svěži „fresh”:

singular plural
masculine
(animate)
masculine
(inanimate)
neuter feminine masculine
(animate)
masculine
(inanimate)
neuter feminine
Nom svěži svěže svěža svěži svěže
Acc svěžego svěži svěžų svěžih
Gen svěžego svěžej svěžih
Dat svěžemu svěžej svěžim
Ins svěžim svěžejų svěžimi
Loc svěžem svěžej svěžih


Adverbs (Prislovniky)

Adverbs can be derived from adjectives by using the ending -o(-e after a soft consonant). In other words, they are similar to the neuter singular: dobro „well”, svěže „freshly”.


Degrees of comparison (Stupnjovanje)

Comparatives and superlatives can be built in two ways: a simple (analytic) form and a more complex (synthetic) form.

Analytic comparative

This way of forming a comparative is easiest to use. Simply have the ground form (the positive) of an adjective or adverb preceded by vyše or bolje „more”: vyše prosty „more simple = simpler”. This solution can be used for all adjectives and adverbs, but is most likely encountered in the case of very long words, foreign words, and participles: vyše/bolje sintetičny „more synthetic”, vyše/bolje smrdęči „more stinking”.

Synthetic comparative

The basic comparative ending for adjectives -ějši (-ejši after a soft consonant), replacing the ending -y/-i: bogaty > bogatějši, slaby > slabějši, blagy > blažejši, svěži > svěžejši.

These endings can simply be made into adverbs by replacing the element -ši by -e (giving the ending -ěje/-eje instead of the adverbial ending -o/-e): novo > nověje, čisto > čistěje, tiho > tišeje, svěže > svěžeje.

An exception are adjectives on -ky, -eky, -oky, which have -ši instead: kratky > kratši, tenky > tenši, daleky > dalši, vysoky > vysši.

The comparatives of these adjectives can be adverbialised by adding the ending -je to the root, causing iotation of the preceding consonant(s): daleko > dalje, široko > širje, vysoky > vyše, blizko > bliže, rědko > rědže.

Irregular comparatives

Seven adjectives have an irregular comparative:

dobry „good” > lěpši (adv. lěpje) or lučši (adv. lučše) „better”
zly „bad” > gorši (adv. gorje) „worse”
veliky „big, large” > vęčši (adv. vęče) or bolši (adv. bolje) „bigger, larger”
maly „little, small” > menši (adv. menje) „smaller, less”
blagy „pleasant, joyful” > unši (adv. unje) „more pleasant/joyful”
legky „easy, light” > legši (adv. legše) „easier, lighter”
mękky „soft” > mękši (adv. mękše) „softer”

It is not impossible to use regular forms of these adjectives (like dobrějši or zlějši), but to the average Slav this will look childish or artificial.

Superlative

The superlative is formed by adding the prefix naj- to the comparative: najnovějši (adj.), najnověje (adv.). This works for the analytic comparative, too: najvyše/najbolje sintetičny.

As a means of simplification, this ending can also be added to the positive instead (which is how superlatives are made in Bulgarian and Macedonian): najnovy (adj.), najnovo (adv.).

Additional forms

The adverbs menje and najmenje can be used to express the opposite meaning of vyše/bolje and najvyše/najbolje, meaning „less” and „least” respectively.

The prefix prě- attached to the positive can be used as a kind of superlative as well, expressing an extreme or excessive degree („very”, „too”).

The prefix ne- creates a negative: neprijatny „not pleasant, unpleasant”.

Example