[*] 291. Besides their regular signification (as in English), the forms of comparison are used as follows:— [*] a. The Comparative denotes a considerable or excessive degree of a quality: as,—brevior, rather short; audācior, too bold. [*] b. The Superlative (of eminence) often denotes a very high degree of a quality without implying a distinct comparison: as,—mōns altissimus, a very high mountain.
[*] Note.--The Superlative of Eminence is much used in complimentary references to persons and may often be translated by the simple positive.[*] c. With quam , vel , or ūnus the Superlative denotes the highest possible degree:—
- quam plūrimī, as many as possible.
- quam maximē potest (maximē quam potest), as much as can be.
- vel minimus, the very least.
- vir ūnus doctissimus, the one most learned man.
[*] Note 1.--A high degree of a quality is also denoted by such adverbs as admodum , valdē, very, or by per or prae in composition (§ 267. d. 1): as,—valdē malus, very bad= pessimus; permāgnus, very great; praealtus, very high (or deep).quisque , see § 313. b. For the construction of a substantive after a Comparative, see §§ 406, 407; for that of a clause, see § 535. c, 571. a. For the Ablative of Degree of Difference with a Comparative ( multō etc.), see § 414.