Comparative and Superlative Adjectives in Slovene

Same as in English, adjectives in Slovene are comparable, known as stropnjevanje pridevnika, they are ranked by “level”.  Comparative and superlative adjectives are often used to answer questions starting by kakšen.

Learn more about Adjectives in General.

Not sure how to use kakšen? Read about Which Slovene Question Words to Use.

How to recognize them

In Slovene, comparative and superlative adjectives are easily recognizable.

For example, the adjective lep (pretty) is trostopenjsko stopnjevanje – three-level adjective.

  1. Its basic form– osnovnik is simply the adjective, lep (pretty).
  2. Its comparative formprimernik is lepši (prettier).
  3. Its superlative formpresežnik is najlepši (prettiest).

The comparative form is usually:  part of the basic form + the ending –ši / –ejši / – ji.
The superlative form is: naj + its comparative form.

Comparative form

As mentioned earlier, the comparative form is usually part of the basic form with different endings. The question is, how to remember which ending goes with which adjective. Here’s an easy way to guide you through.

Ending with -ši
Comparative form ending with -ši are usually used with short adjective, such as:

  • lep (lepši) – pretty,
  • grd (grši) – ugly,
  • slab (slabši) – bad,
  • hud (hujši) – mean,
  • dolg (daljši) – long,
  • mlad (mlajši) – young.

But there are some longer adjectives that also end with -ši. For example: dober (boljši) – good, majhen (manjši) – small, kratek (krajši) – short…

Ending with -ejši
Comparative form ending with –ejši are mostly used with adjectives that have lots of consonants at the end, such as:

  • čist (čistejši) – clean,
  • močen (močnejši) – strong,
  • hiter (hitrejši) – fast,
  • topel (toplejši) – warm,
  • hladen (hladnejši) – cold.
Notice how the e” in the basic adjective is underlined, it means that when declined, the “e” is removed ∴ it ends up with a lot of consonant together.

Some adjectives also take the -ejši ending, even if they don’t have many consonants together. For example: nov (novejši) – new, star (starejši) – old, poceni (cenejši) – cheap…

Ending with -ji
Comparative form ending with ji are irregular, meaning they don’t follow any pattern. They can be short adjectives, adjectives with many consonants…).

  • lahek (lažji) – easy / light,
  • težek (težji) – difficult / heavy,
  • drag (dražji) – expensive,
  • visok (višji) – tall / high,
  • nižek (nižji) – short / low,
  • ozek (ji) – narrow,
  • globok (globlji) – deep.

You have to learn them by ❤ , but the more you use and hear them, the easier it will be to remember them.

With bolj (more) or manj (less)
Comparative form with bolj (more) or manj (less) are used when endings -ši, -ejši or -ji don’t apply. Usually with longer adjectives, colors and status or conditions.

  • utrujen – tired,
  • svež – fresh,
  • zelen – green,
  • sončen – sunny,
  • suh – skinny / dry,
  • vroč – hot,
  • mrzel – cold.

Of course, sometimes you might forget or won’t know how to say a certain comparative adjective and as a last resort, you can use it with bolj or manj. For example, bolj lep (more pretty), manj lahek (less easy)…

Superlative Form

Once you know the comparative form, the superlative form is very easy. You simply put naj in front of its comparative form and you get its superlative form.

  • lep (pretty) → lepši najlepši,
  • čist (clean) → čistejši → najčistejši,
  • lahek (easy / light) → lažji najlažji,
  • utrujen (tired) → bolj / manj utrujen  → najbolj / najmanj utrujen.

Keep in mind that there are no “absolute” rules with comparative and superlative adjectives. Therefore, the more you practice, the more you will be familiar with them.

If you have any comments or questions, contact me and let me know! We’re all here to learn Slovene!

Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & NumeralsSlovene Nouns & PronounsSlovene VerbsSlovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms, Slovene Adverbs.

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