Comparisons in Dutch

In English we use 2 main methods to form comparisons between two things.

  • The Comparative Degree – We add ‘-er’ or ‘est’ for example, long, longer, longest
  • The Superlative Degree – We add ‘most’ or ‘ more’ for example, brilliant, more brilliant, most brilliant

This post is going to talk about these to different types in a short an condensed way as I can. There isn’t really too much to cover with these two simple rules but I have a feeling they may be a little tricky for me to master.

The Comparative Degree  – Adding “-er” + relevant endings.

jong – young

een jonge man – a young man

een jong meisje – a young woman  * note the change in spelling of jong determined by the “het or de” articles.

jonger – younger

een jongere man

een jonger meisje

de jongere man

het jonger meisje

Het meisje is jonger dan de man – The girl is younger than the man.IMG_5320

Die film is interessanter dan deze – That film is more interesting than this one.

Adjectives ending in ‘-r’ insert ‘-d’ before adding the ending. Here are some examples;

  • lekker = lekkerder (tastier)
  • duur = duurder (more expensive)
  • mager = magerder (thinner)
  • ver = verder (further)

Tricky bit, for me anyway, comparative adjectives add an ‘-e’ following the adjective rules when they consist of two syllables:

Wij hebben een grotere tuin nodig – We need a bigger garden


The Superlative Degree – Adding ‘-st’ (or just the ‘-t’ is the word ends in ‘-s’)

Similar to the Comparative Degree the article determines the ending of the adjective.

 

Oud – Old

Een oude man – An old man

Een oud schip – An old ship

Oudst – Oldest

De oudste man – The oldest man

Het oudst schip – The oldest ship

 

When the superlative adjective follows the verb “to be” and does not precede a noun it takes on the definite article of ‘het’. Here are some examples:

  • De handtag is het mooist – That handbag is the most beautiful
  • Dit boet is het beste – This book is the best.

 

The Dutch use superlatives to compare:

  • Zij is de jongste van de twee zusters – she is the younger of the two sisters
  • Zij is de jongste van de drie zusters – She is the youngest of the three sister.

IMG_5321 Irregular comparatives don’t have rules or formations and can be just used as and when adapting to the sentence they are being used to. Here are some examples:

  • best – best
  • meest – most
  • minst – least
  • meer – more
  • weinig – little

 

 

 

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