Learn Italian Irregular Comparatives And Superlatives

In addition to the regular comparative forms we already looked at (using più and meno) there are also some irregular comparatives and superlatives for Italian adjectives and adverbs.

Irregular adjective comparisons

With most English comparatives, we just add -er and -est to the adjective (eg: light, lighter, and lightest), but that doesn't work with good, which becomes better and best.

In the very same way, most adjective comparisons in Italian can be handled with più, but the usual suspects which seem to pop up in every language pop up in Italian, too: high, low, good, bad, large, small.

highhigherhighestvery high
altosuperioreil superioresupremo
lowlowerlowestvery low
bassoinferiorel'inferioreinfimo
goodbetterbestvery good
buonomiglioreil miglioreottimo
badworseworstvery bad
cattivopeggioreil peggiorepessimo
bigolderoldestvery big
grandemaggioreil maggioremassimo
smallyoungeryoungestvery small
piccolominoreil minoreminimo

Examples:

  • La nostra azienda valorizza l'instruzione superiore.
  • Questa era la cosa peggiore che potevi dire.
  • Mio fratello minore lavora in questa trattoria.

Irregular adverb comparisons

Similarly, there are irregular comparative forms for adverbs, and once again, it's the usual suspects: well, badly, much, little.

wellbetterbestvery well
benemeglioil meglioottimamente
badlyworseworstvery badly
malepeggioil peggiopessimamente
muchmoremostvery much
moltopiùil piùmoltissimo
littlelessleastvery little
pocomenoil menopochissimo

Examples:

  • A causa dei suoi studi, lui capisce italiano ottimamente.
  • L'altro gruppo gioca il calcio peggio che noi.

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