ADJECTIVES

Contents:

Inflection   •   Adverbs   •   Comparison
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Inflection

Adjectives match with the noun they modify in gender, case and number. Declension is always regular, but heavily affected by the o/e and y/i rules. The basic endings (applying not only to adjectives, but also to possessive pronouns, demonstrative pronouns and the like) are:

singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
Nom -y -o -a -e
Acc -y / -ogo1 -e / -yh1
Gen -ogo -oj -yh
Dat -omu -oj -ym
Ins -ym -ojų -ymi
Loc -om -oj -yh

1 Just like in the case of nouns, the accusative has the same form as the nominative when the corresponding noun is masculine and inanimate, and the same form as the genitive when the corresponding noun is masculine and animate.

Here follow an example of a hard and an example of a soft adjective (in the case of masculine words, it is assumed that the subject is inanimate): dobry „good” and svěži „fresh”.

singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
Nom dobry dobro dobra dobre
Acc dobrų
Gen dobrogo dobroj dobryh
Dat dobromu dobroj dobrym
Ins dobrym dobrojų dobrymi
Loc dobrom dobroj dobryh
singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
Nom svěži svěže svěža svěže
Acc svěžų
Gen svěžego svěžej svěžih
Dat svěžemu svěžej svěžim
Ins svěžim svěžejų svěžimi
Loc svěžem svěžej svěžih

Instead of -e, you can also use -i in the masculine nominative plural. This solution is consistent with what the majority of the Slavic languages do.

Adverbs

Adverbs can be derived from adjectives by using the ending -o: dobro „well”, svěžo „freshly”.

Degrees of comparison

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 smŕdęći „more stinking”.

Synthetic comparative of adjectives

The basic comparative ending is -ějši, replacing the ending -y/-i. It can be used for practically all adjectives: bogaty > bogatějši, slaby > slabějši, blågi > blåžějši, krěpki > krěpčějši.

When the adjective has only one stem-final consonant, the preferred ending is -ši: bogaty > bogatši, mlådy > mlådši, stary > starši, slaby > slabši, tihi > tišši.

Adjectives on -ki, -eki, -oki have -ši instead: kråtki > kråtši, tenki > tenši, daleki > daľši, vysoki > vysši.

Synthetic comparative of adverbs

To create the comparative of an adverb, replace the ending -o with -ěje: novo > nověje, čisto > čistěje, tiho > tišěje.

The only exception are adverbs on -ko, -eko, -oko, which have the comparative -je, causing iotation of the preceding consonant(s): daleko > dalje, široko > širje, vysoki > vyše, blizko > bliže, rědko > rědže.

Irregular comparatives

Six adjectives have an irregular comparative:

veliki „big, large” > vęćši (adv. vęće) „bigger, larger”
maly „little, small” > menši (adv. menje) „smaller, less”
dobry „good” > lěpši (adv. lěpje); lučši (adv. lučše) „better”
zly „bad” > gorši (adv. gorje) „worse”
legki „easy, light” > legši (adv. legše) „easier, lighter”
mękki „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 looks childish or artificial.

Superlative

The superlative is formed by adding the prefix naj- to the comparative: najnovějši, najnovši, najnověje. As a means of simplification, it can also be added to the positive instead: najnovy, najnovo.

Additional forms

The adverbs menje and najmenje can be used to express the opposite meaning of vyše and naj-, 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