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moins (less) before the adjective, and que (than) after it. Ex.
Il est MOINS fier QUE sa he is less proud than his s@ur,
sister. 4. Remember that the adverb aussi, plus, or moins, must be repeated before every adjective used in a sentence. Ex.
Il est plus âgé et PLUS he is older and more clever habile que son cousin,
than his cousin. 5. Three adjectives in French form their comparative degree in an irregular manner: they are, Bon, good, which makes MEILLEUR, better ; MAUVAIS, bad, which sometimes makes pire, worse ; and PETIT, little, which sometimes makes MOINDRE, less.
6. But care must taken, when translating better, worse, and less into French, not to confound meilleur, pire, and moindre with mieux, pis, and moins. The difference between them is, that meilleur, pire, and moindre are adjectives, and can only qualify substantives ; as, un MEILLEUR homme, a better man: while mieux, pis, and moins are adverbs; as, il écrit mieux que vous, he writes better than you.
7. The adjective is used in the superlative degree, to express a quality possessed in a very high, or in the highest possible degree; there are, therefore, two kinds of superlatives : the superlative relative and the absolute.
8. The superlative relative, which serves to express a quality possessed in the highest possible degree, is expressed in French by placing the definite article before the comparative, thus : le plus sage, the wisest ; le meilleur, the best; le pire, the worst; le moindre, the least. Adverbs, used comparatively, may also be made superlatives by prefixing the article : le plus, the most, &c. Ex.
Voilà LE MEILLEUR des hommes, there is the best of men. Votre sæur est LA PLUS heu
sister is the happiest reuse des femmes,
of women. 9. The superlative absolute, which expresses a quality possessed in a very high degree, is expressed in French by placing très, fort, or bien, very, before the adjective. Ex.
Cet homme est très-religieux that man is very religious et TRÈS-charitable,
very charitable. 10. Observe that the words which serve to express the superlative degree must, in French, be repeated before every adjective.
QUESTIONS FOR EXAMINATION.
ON THE DEGREES OF SIGNIFICATION IN ADJECTIVES.
Of how many degrees of signification are adjectives susceptible?
What is the use of the positive degree ?
What French adjectives form their comparatives in an irregular manner ?
What is the difference between meilleur and mieux, pire and pis, moindre and moins ?
How many superlative degrees are there?
EXERCISES ON THE DEGREES OF SIGNIFI
CATION OF ADJECTIVES.
I. EXERCISE ON RULE 1, P. 37. Alexander was as ambitious as Cæsar.-I am as tall
Alexandre était ambitieux César. Je suis grand as you.-My father is as rich as yours.- Miss D.
riche ic vôtre. Mademoiselle
is as amiable as her cousin.- If my father were as rich
sa cousine, f. Si, c. mon était as my uncle, he (would make) a better of his oncle, ferait
meilleur usage, m. riches. Your brothers are as esteemed as we.- I am as Vos sont
nous. rich as you, and as honest and civil as my companions.
compagnons, m. My cousin is
merry, lively, and amiable as his cousin, m. gai, enjoué, brothers.
sagesse, f. Ma
II. EXERCISE ON RULES 2, 3, AND 4, P. 37, 38.
que, C. ses sisters.-Lucy is taller and more proud than her little Lucie
orgueilleux cousin.--Nothing is pleasanter to the mind than the Rien adv. agréable
esprit, m. light of truth.-Nothing is more lovely than virtue, lumière, f. vérité, f.
aimable and nothing is more desirable than wisdom.—My daughter
désirable is taller than your son by two inches.--Your brother is taller
pouce, m. than you (by the whole head).-In winter the roads
de toute la tête, f. En hiver, m. chemin, m. always worse than in summer.—His brother sont toujours plus mauvais
été, m. (will be more attentive, industrious, and rich, than he. attentif, industrieux,
lui Mrs. P. is less polite than her sister, and her sister is Madame
poli not so revengeful as she. You are less dutiful than your vindicatif elle
êtes obéissant brother.--Paris is less populous than London.
• To translate this adjective, handsomer, it must be changed into more handsome, and the same must be done with all others, the comparatives of which are formed by the addition of er or r in English. Ex. Happy, happier.
III. EXERCISE ON RULES 5 AND 6, p. 38. The watch which my grandfather has bought is montre, f. que
grandpère, m. achetéc better than the clock which he gave to my mother. -horloge, f. a donnée
mère. -My friend's dogs are better than those of his uncle, chien, m.
oncle, m. but mine
worse than his. The life of les miens
vie, f. slave is a thousand times worse than death itself. esclave, m. mille fois
mort, f. même. -The pain which I endure is less than that which is peine, f. que souffre
qui est inflicted on criminals.-Can you read better than your infligée aux criminel, m. Pouvez-vous lire
votre brother ?- That is much worse.—You have written less frère ? Cela est bien
écrit than your cousin.—His pen is better than mine, and votre cousin. Sa plume, f. est
que la mienne, consequently he writes better than I. conséquemment il écrit
IV. EXERCISE ON RULES 7—10, P. 38, 39. The vine is one of the most useful and agreeable
utile gifts of Providence.—The lion is the strongest and most don, m. Providence, f. lion
fort courageous of all animals.--I am your most humble and courageux animal, m.
très obedient servant.—The front of your house is very obéissant serviteur, m. façade, f. beautiful.—You are very good, but your brother is very
beau. bad. — My uncle 'has a very fine country-house, méchant.
maison de campagne, and very spacious gardens.-My best friend is dead.
spacieux Our common enemy has the most inveterate hatred Notre commun
invétéré haine against this country.—Their least embarrassments muke contre
embarras, m. font
their greatest confusion. Pride and passion are
confusion, f. pl. Orgueil, m. colère, f. sont least defects.
OF THE NUMERAL ADJECTIVES. There are two sorts of numeral adjectives, or nouns of number : the cardinal and the ordinal.
The cardinal numbers, so called from their being the root of all others, express the number of persons or of things spoken of.
The ordinal, as their name implies, express the order in which persons or things are to be considered.
1, 2, 3 4,
un, m. une, f.
* The conjunction et is used from twenty to cighty, before un only ; not before any other number. But we cannot say, with any propriety, quatre-vingt et un ; it must be quatre-vingt-un, &c.