Adjectives - Επίθετα

Το describe nouns in terms of characteristics, color, size, shape, abilities, etc, adjectives (e’pitheta) are used. In Greek, adjectives have different suffixes that match the gender, number and case of the noun they are modifying. They are usually placed before the nouns and after the article. Adjectives may be placed after the noun to express more emphasis but if this happens, the article must be repeated before the adjective.

Ο κόκκινος τοίχος.Η κόκκινη κάρτα.Η κάρτα η κόκκινη.Της κόκκινης κάρτας.
The red wall.The red wall.The card the red.The red card’s.

To compare adjectives, we use the degrees of adjectives (παραθετικά των επιθέτων, paratheti’ka ton epi’theton). Those are the positive degree (θετικός βαθμός), the comparative degree (συγκριτικός βαθμός, sygriti’kos vath’mos) and the superlative degree (υπερθετικός βαθμός, ipertheti’kos vath’mos).

  • The positive degree is the adjective in its simple form.
  • The comparative degree is formed either by adding πιό (more) before the adjective or by adding a suffix. Depending on the form of the noun to be described, the suffix could be one of the following: -ότερος, -ότερη, ότερο or -ύτερος, -ύτερη, -ύτερο. After the adjective, the word από (from) follows.
  • The superlative degree can be formed by changing the suffix accordingly (-ότατος, -ότατη, -ότατο when the positive form is in -ος, -ύτατος, -ύτατη, -ύτατο when the positive ends in -ύς and -έστατος, έστατη, -έστατο when the positive ends in -ης). It can also be formed by adding ο, η, το before the comparative.
ψηλόςΨηλότερος, πιό ψηλόςψηλότατος, ο πιό ψηλός
tallTaller, more tallTallest, the most tall

The Greek language, like English, has some adjectives that are irregular and cannot be formed in all the ways mentioned above. A rule of thumb is to use πιό and ο, η, το πιό when unsure if the suffix can be modified.