The Adjective: Degrees of comparison

stasya | 31.01.2011 | 0

Ukrainian adjectives have two degrees of comparison: comparative and superlative. Every degree has as well two forms: simple and hard.

First of all I would like to note that for beginners or even more advanced Ukrainian speakers the "simple" form is actually more difficult to understand and learn than the "hard" form. So feel free to use the easiest form because they both are interchangeable, though we prefer to use "hard" form with more abstract or relative adjectives.

Comparative degree

Simple form

Simple form is created by adding suffixes -іш, to the stem of the adjective:

добрий (good) — добріший (better)

злий (angry) — зліший (angrier)

молодий (young) — молодший (younger)

старий (old) — старший, старіший (older)

кислий (sour) — кисліший (sourer)

розумний (smart) — розумніший (smarter)


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Sometimes creating the comparative degree the suffixes , -ок, -ек can drop out:

тонкий (thin) — тонший (thinner)

глибокий (deep) — глибший (deeper)

далекий (far) — дальший (farther)


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Hard form

Hard form is created by adding words більш (more), менш (less) to the adjectives:


цікавий (interesting) — більш цікавий (more interesting), менш цікавий (less interesting)

розвинений (advanced) — більш розвинений (more advanced), менш розвинений (less advanced)

  • The adjective does not change at all, all you need is to add a specific word to it.

  • Pay attention that unlike English where words "more" or "less" are used with adjectives with more than three syllables, Ukrainian "більш", "менш" are used with any adjectives no matter how many syllables they have.

  • As you can see this form of making comparative adjective is much simplier than the previous one.

Superlative degree

Simple form

It is created by adding prefix -най to the comparative adjective:


добріший (better) — найдобріший (the best)

зліший (angrier) — найзліший (the angriest)

розумніший (smarter) — найрозумніший (the smartest)


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тонший (thinner) — найтонший (the thinnest)

глибший (deeper) — найглибший (the deepest)


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Hard form

It is created by adding words найбільш (the most), найменш (the less) to the adjectives:


захоплюючий (exciting) — найбільш захоплюючий (the most exciting), найменш захоплюючий (the least exciting)

розповсюджений (widespread, common) — найбільш розповсюджений (the most widespread, the most common), найменш розповсюджений (the least widespread, the least common)


It has simmilarities with hard form of comparative adjectives:

  • The adjective does not change at all as well.

  • "найбільш", "найменш" are used with any adjectives no matter how many syllables they have.

  • The hard form of making superlative adjectives is as simple as the hard form of comparative adjectives.


Here are some adjectives that don't have suffixes -іш, when creating comparative, superlative degree or change entirely (this concernes only simple form, there are no exceptions for the hard form of the comparative, superlative adjectives):


високий (high, tall) — вищий (higher, taller) — найвищий (the highest, the tallest)

низький (short) — нижчий (shorter) — найнижчий (the shortest)

товстий (fat) — товщий (or товстіший) (fatter) — найтовщий (найтовстіший) (the fattest)

близький (near) — ближчий (nearer) — найближчий (the nearest)

важкий (heavy) — важчий (heavier) — найважчий (the heaviest)

вузький (narrow) — вужчий (narrower) — найвужчий (the narrowest)

дорогий (expensive) — дорожчий (more expensive) — найдорожчий (the most expensive)

тяжкий (heavy,difficult) — тяжчий (heavier, more difficult) — найтяжчий (the heaviest, the most difficult)

хороший (good) — кращий (better) — найкращий (the best)

поганий (bad) — гірший (worse) — найгірший (the worst)

великий (big) — більший (bigger) — найбільший (the biggest)

малий (small) — менший (smaller) — найменший (the smallest)

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