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Degrees of comparison of adjectives

We use an adjective to describe any object. Objects can be various, that is why there are some categories of adjectives which are called "degrees of comparison" (степени сравнения). We can say that one object surpasses another one in any characteristics or just differs in any features. There are three degrees of comparison of Russian adjectives: positive, comparative and superlative. Positive degree means an object's feature; actually we do not talk about comparison here. An object's feature is its material characteristics (or other features).

For example:
Деревянный стол - a wooden table
Куриный суп - chicken soup
Высокое дерево - a lofty tree
Умный парень - a smart guy
Добрая собака - a kind dog

Comparative degree is used to compare one object with another. Comparative degree can be simple and complex. Grammatically, simple degree is formed by means of suffixes:

-ее (-ей) [yeye] [-ey]
Детская комната светлее чем гостиная - Children's room is brighter than the living room.
Детская комната светлее гостиной - Children's room is brighter than the living room.
-е [ye]
Море больше чем озеро - The sea is larger than the lake.
Море больше озера - The sea is larger than the lake.

-ше (-же) [she] [zhe]
Офисный центр выше чем жилой дом - The office center is higher than the residence building.
Офисный центр выше жилого дома - The office center is higher than the residence building.

Pay your attention to the changing of letters in the words.
It is also important to mention the words which have absolutely another word in the comparative degree.

Хороший - лучше - Good - better
Плохой - хуже - Bad - worse

We can also form the simple comparative degree from the short form of adjectives - it is similar to the one formed from long adjective.
Короткий - Короток - Короче - Short - short - shorter.

2. Complex comparative degree is formed through adding the particles "менее" (less) or "более" (more). It can be changed in gender, number and case - we do not change the particle, but only the form of adjective.

Он более талантливый музыкант чем его коллеги - He is more talented than his colleagues.
Она была менее успешной чем ее одноклассники - She was less successful than her classmates.

3. Simple superlative degree is formed with suffixes (you can also use the adding of the prefix "наи-" to heighten a feature).

-ейш- [yeysh]
Это умнейший мальчик - This is the smartest boy.
-айш- [aysh]
Федор Михайлович Достоевский - величайший писатель - Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky is the greatest writer.
-ш- [sh]
Пунктуальность - это высшая степень вежливости - Punctuality is the highest degree of politeness.

The example with the prefix "наи-":
Быть собой - наитруднейшая задача - To be oneself is the most difficult task.

4. Complex superlative degree is formed through adding the particles "наименее" (the least) or "наиболее" (the most).
Мы стараемся отыскать наименее короткий путь - We are trying to find the shortest way.


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