Adjectives

An adjective is a word used to add a descriptive quality.

Italian adjectives have to agree in gender and number with the word they describe. They obtain the following endings in most cases:

EnkelvoudEnkelvoud
Mannelijk- o- i
Vrouwelijk- a- e

Voorbeelden:

ragazzo alto - tall boy
ragazza alta - tall girl
ragazzi alti - tall boys
ragazze alte - tall girls

The adjectives ending in -e, both feminine and masculine, in plural use the -i ending::

Libro (m) interessante (interesting book) -> libri interessanti (interesting books) Conversazione (f) interessante (interesting conversation) -> conversazioni interessanti (interesting conversations)

Comparatives

An important skill is using adjectives for comparison. In Italian an adjective is intensified by the word più (more):

gentile (nice) - più gentile (nicer)
bella (beautiful) - più bella (more beautiful)
giovane (young) - più giovane (younger)

If two people are being compared we used più + adjective + di:

Maria è più alta di Rosa.
L’italiano è più facile del tedesco.

If the second part of the comparison is an adjective, a verb or is preceded by a preposition the use of più + adjective + che is required:

Sono più anziana che pensi. - I’m older than you think.
È più sano andare a piedi che in macchina. - It’s healthier to walk than to use the car

The same rules apply to make comparisons with meno (less):

studiosa (studious) - meno studiosa (less studious)
divertente (entertaining) - meno divertente (less entertaining)

Angela è meno studiosa di te. - Angela is less studious than you are.
Studiare è meno divertente che guardare la TV. - Studying is less entertaining than watching TV.

Superlatives

There are two types of the highest level of comparison in Italian, relative superlative and absolute superlative.

Relative superlative (superlativo relativo) is used for comparison. It requires the use of a definite article + più/meno + adjective as shown in the following examples:

Maria è la più intelligente di loro. - Maria is the smartest one of them.
Queste scarpe sono le meno costose di tutte. - These shoes are the cheapest ones of them all.

Absolute superlative (superlativo assoluto) is used to say that something has the highest degree of a certain quality without comparing it to anything else. It can translate to English as “very” and uses the following endings:

EnkelvoudEnkelvoud
Mannelijkbellissimobellissimi
Vrouwelijkbellissimabellissime

Gianna è una ragazza bellissima. - Gianna is a very beautiful girl.
Luigi è un uomo elegantissimo. - Luigi is a very elegant man.

Irregular Adjectives

Some adjectives have irregular comparative and superlative forms. The most important ones of them are:

Gbuono (good) - migliore (better) - il migliore (the best) - absolute superlative: ottimo (very good)
cattivo (bad) - peggiore (worse) - il peggiore (the worst) - absolute superlative: pessimo (very bad)