Degrees of comparison of Adjectives

Most adjectives in Ukrainian have three different forms to show degrees of comparison – the positive, the comparative, and the superlative. Comparative and superlative has two forms: simple and hard.

  1. Adjectives in the positive degree are used when no comparison is made.
  2. Comparative degree is used to compare two things or persons.
  3. Superlative adjectives are used to show superiority over other things or persons.

Simple forms

positivecomparative
(+suffix “ш / іш”)
superlative
(“най”+comparative adj.)
розу́мнийрозумні́шийнайрозумні́ший
smartsmartersmartest
си́льнийсильні́шийнайсильні́ший
strongstrongerstrongest
молоди́ймоло́дшийнаймоло́дший
youngyoungeryoungest

The base of adjectives with “іш” suffix always stays the same:
розу́мний → розумні́ший – smart, smarter
сухи́й → сухі́ший – dry, drier

The base of some adjectives can change with the “ш” suffix:

  1. adjectives with “-к/ок/ек-” suffix drop out:
    коро́ткий - коро́тший – shorter, shorter
    широ́кий - ши́рший – wide, wider
    дале́кий - да́льший – far, further
  2. Consonants “г”, “з”, “ж” together with the suffix -ш- combine into “-жч-“:
    вузьки́й - ву́жчий – narrow, narrower
    дороги́й - доро́жчий – expensive – more expensive
    важки́й - ва́жчий – heavy, heavier
    Two exceptions:
    легки́й - ле́гший – easy, easier
    до́вгий - до́вший – long, longer
  3. The consonant “с” together with the suffix -ш- merges into the sound “-щ-“.
    висо́кий - ви́щий – high, higher

The hard form is not as hard as it sounds. Actually, it’s much easier. It is created by adding words “більш” (more) or “менш” (less) to the adjectives. The adjective stays the same.

Compound forms

positivecomparative
(більш/менш and an adj.)
superlative
(най + більш/менш and an adj.)
розу́мнийбільш розу́мнийнайбільш розу́мний
smartsmartersmartest
до́вгийбільш до́вгийнайбільш до́вгий
longlongerlongest

I would recommend to use the hard form, it’s easier to learn and the adjectives are interchangeable with the adjectives of the simple form.

Ця доро́га коро́тка. – This road is short.
Ця доро́га коро́тша. = Ця доро́га більш коро́тка. – This road is shorter.
Ця доро́га найкоро́тша. = Ця доро́га найбі́льш коро́тка. This road is the shortest.

Some adjectives have irregular forms in the comparative and superlative:

positivecomparativesuperlative
до́брий (good)
хоро́ший (good)
кра́щий (better)найкра́щий (best)
пога́ний (bad)гі́рший (worse)найгі́рший (worst)
вели́кий (big)бі́льший (bigger)найбі́льший (biggest)
мали́й (small)ме́нший (smaller)найме́нший (smallest)

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments