We've talked recently about comparatives of equality, and so it makes sense to talk about yet another kind of comparative. We're not really comparing two or more items, but rather giving one item a very high vote.
In English we use words or prefixes such as "super," "very," "extra," "maximum," "mega."
There is a super easy way to make adjectives into absolute superlatives in Italian.
Daniela explains how this works:
There are certain adjectives we use quite frequently in this form to express an absolute superlative.
One is bello (beautiful, nice):
Another is piccolo (small):
Still another is nuovo (new):
There are lots of others, and you will, little by little, start noticing them as you listen to spoken Italian, where they occur most frequently.
Here's a head start.
Daniela is back with some more Italian lessons, classroom-style. This time she will be teaching us how to compare things. And the good news is that apart from a few exceptions like buono (good), migliore (better), il/la migliore (the best), you won't have to learn the comparative forms of an adjective. Basically, you just have to use the adverb più (more) or meno (less).
Sometimes this corresponds to the English, because in English, not all adjectives have a comparative form.
"Arrivederci" [quando vado via] è una forma di saluto più elegante, formale.
"Arrivederci" [when I leave] is a more elegant, formal form of saying "goodbye."Play Caption
But in many cases, there is a specific comparative form in English.
In the following example, a recipe is being described.
Si può personalizzare: più piccante, meno piccante.
You can personalize: sharper or milder.
Caption 38, L'Italia a tavola - Il frico friulano - Part 1Play Caption
So, if you are translating, you have to find the "right" word in English. But as you become more familiar with Italian, you will start thinking in Italian, and the English equivalent won't really come into play.
One tricky thing is that you have to take into account whether you are comparing things or actions. The preposition you use, di (than) as opposed to che (than), will change accordingly.
Lucca è una città più piccola di Firenze (Lucca is a smaller city than Florence). Lucca è meno grande di Firenze (Lucca is smaller than Florence).
A Lucca, è più comodo girare in bici che girare in macchina (in Lucca, it's easier to get around by bike, than to get around by car).
Watch Daniela's video, first of all. Then go around your house, or wherever you happen to be, and compare things.
Questo libro è più grande di quel libro (this book is bigger than that book).
Gain confidence in comparing things using di (than). Then move on to comparing actions. It's a little trickier, with che (than).
Comprare online sarà più veloce che andare al negozio (purchasing online will be quicker than going to the store).