Elements of Latin Lesson 69
Declension of Comparatives; Ablative of the Measure of Difference

Silent lēgēs inter arma — Laws are silent amid arms
From Cicero, the greatest Roman orator.

450. Declension of Comparatives. Comparatives are adjectives of the third declension. They are of two endings (§429) and are declined as follows:

Masc. and Fem.
Masc. and Fem.
altior altius altiōrēs altiōra
altiōris altiōris altiōrum altiōrum
altiōrī altiōrī altiōribus altiōribus
altiōrem altius altiōrēs altiōra
altiōre altiōre altiōribus altiōribus

451. Ablative of Measure of Difference. In the sentence Sextus is a foot taller than Julia the word foot expresses the measure of difference in height between Sextus and Julia. The Latin form of expression would be Sextus is taller by a foot than Julia, Sextus est longior pede quam Iūlia, and the ablative pede is called the ablative of the measure of difference.

452. Rule for Ablative of Measure of Difference. With comparatives and words implying comparison the ablative is used to denote the measure of difference.
   a. The neuter ablatives multō, by much; nihilō, by nothing; and paulō, by a little, are very common in this construction.


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Special Vocabulary

Latin Word Meaning Related Words
dux, ducis (m) leader, commander duke
inter between, among interim, intervene
levis, -e light, trivial, fickly levity
nihil (n) indclineable nothing. An abl. nihilō, from a nom. nihilum, occurs as an abl. of measure of difference. fortitude, fort, fortify
pēs, pedis (m) foot pedal, pedestal, pedestrian
spatium, spatiī (n) space, distance spacious, expatiate

453. 1. Corpus hominis est multō levius quam corpus equī.   2. Inter ea oppida iter est nihilō facilius.   3. Puellae sunt paulō breviōrēs quam puerī.   4. Mea poena est multō gravior quam tua.   5. Cōpiae pedestrēs erant nihilō fortiōrēs quam cōpiae equestrēs.   6. Nihil grātius quam fābulam dē virtūte Dentātī audīvimus.   7. Estne tua soror brevior quam mea? Longior pede ea est.   8. Animālia vīdimus quae multō tardiōra sunt quam equī.   9. Urbe expugnātā, fīlia pulcherrima rēgīnae inter ignēs et arma relicta est.   10. Oppidum vestrum ab eō locō magnō spatiō abest.

448. 1. The marches which the commander made were neither very long nor very swift.   2. The commander thanked the bravest legion most of all.   3. Your spears are no1 longer and no lighter than mine.   4. Between the Gauls and the Germans very frequent wars were waged.   5. That river is no1 wider, but a foot1 deeper.   6. Nothing is more beautiful than Rome, the capital of Italy.   7. We are a long distance2 from Italy.

1 Ablative of measure of difference. 2 Latin, distant by a great space.

455. Decline the comparatives occurring in §453.


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