AGREEMENT OF ADJECTIVES
Attributive and Predicate Adjectives[*] 285. Adjectives are either Attributive or Predicate.
- An Attributive Adjective simply qualifies its noun without the intervention of a verb or participle, expressed or implied: as, —bonus imperātor, a good commander; stellae lūcidae, bright stars; verbum Graecum, a Greek word.
- All other adjectives are called Predicate Adjectives:—
- stellae lūcidaeerant, the stars were bright.
- “sit Scīpiō clārus” (Cat. 4.21) , let Scipio be illustrious.
- “hominēsmītīs reddidit ” (Inv. 1.2) , has rendered men mild.
- “tria praedia Capitōnīpropria trāduntur ” (Rosc. Am. 21) , three farms are handed over to Capito as his own.
- cōnsilium cēpēruntplēnum sceleris (id. 28), they formed a plan full of villany.
[*] Note.--A predicate adjective may be used with sum or a copulative verb (§ 283); it may have the construction of a predicate accusative after a verb of naming, calling, or the like (§ 393. N.); or it may be used in apposition like a noun (§ 282. b).
Rules of Agreement[*] 286. Adjectives, Adjective Pronouns, and Participles agree with their nouns in Gender, Number, and Case:—
- vir fortis, a brave man.
- illa mulier, that woman.
- urbium māgnārum, of great cities.
- cum ducentīs mīlitibus, with two hundred soldiers.
- imperātor victus est, the general was beaten.
- secūtae sunt tempestātēs, storms followed.
[*] Note.--All rules for the agreement of adjectives apply also to adjective pronouns and to participles.[*] a. With two or more nouns the adjective is regularly plural, but often agrees with the nearest (especially when attributive):—
- “Nīsus et Euryalus prīmī ” (Aen. 5.294) , Nisus and Euryalus first.
- “Caesaris omnī et grātiā et opibus fruor ” (Fam. 1.9.21) , I enjoy all Cæsar's favor and resources.
- “pars certāre parātī ” (Aen. 5.108) , a part ready to contend.
- “colōniae aliquot dēductae, Prīscī Latīnī appellātī ” (Liv. 1.3) , several colonies were planted (led out) [of men] called Old Latins.
- “multitūdō convictī sunt ” (Tac. Ann. 15.44) , a multitude were convicted.
- māgna pars raptae (id. 1.9), a large part [of the women] were seized.
[*] Note.--A superlative in the predicate rarely takes the gender of a partitive genitive by which it is limited: as,vēlōcissimum animālium delphīnus est (Plin. N. H. 9.20), the dolphin is the swiftest [creature] of creatures.[*] 287. One adjective may belong in sense to two or more nouns of different genders. In such cases,—
- An Attributive Adjective agrees with the nearest noun:—
- A Predicate Adjective may agree with the nearest noun, if the Nouns form one connected idea:—
- But generally, a Predicate Adjective will be masculine, if nouns of different genders mean living beings; neuter, if things without life:—
- If nouns of different genders include both living beings and
things without life, a Predicate Adjective is sometimes masculine
(or feminine), sometimes neuter, and sometimes agrees in gender with
the nearest if that is plural:—
- “rēx rēgiaque classis ūnā profectī” (Liv. 21.50) , the king and the royal fleet set out together.
- nātūrāinimīca sunt lībera cīvitās et rēx (id. 44.24), by nature a free state and a king are hostile.
- lēgātōs sortēsque ōrāculī exspectandās (id. 5.15), that the ambassadors and the replies of the oracle should be waited for.
- “stultitia et temeritās et iniūstitia ... sunt fugienda” (Fin. 3.39) , foliy, rashness, and injustice are [things] to be shunned.
Adjectives used Substantively[*] 288. Adjectives are often used as Nouns (substantively), the masculine usually to denote men or people in general of that kind, the feminine women, and the neuter things:—
|omnēs, all men (everybody).||omnia, all things (everything).|
|mâiōrēs, ancestors.||minōrēs, descendants.|
|Rōmānī, Romans.||barbarī, barbarians.|
|līberta, a freedwoman.||Sabīnae, the Sabine wives.|
|sapiēns, a sage (philosopher).||amīcus, a friend.|
|bonī, the good (good people).||bona, goods, property.|
- tuus vīcīnus proximus, your next-door neighbor.
- propinquī cēterī, his other relatives.
- meus aequālis, a man of my own age.
- “êius familiāris Catilīna ” (Har. Resp. 5) , his intimate friend Catiline.
- “Leptae nostrī familiārissimus ” (Fam. 9.13.2) , a very close friend of our friend Lepta.
- Āfricus [ventus], the southwest wind; Iānuārius [mēnsis], January; vitulīna [carō], veal (calf's flesh); fera [bēstia], a wild beast; patria [terra], the fatherland; Gallia [terra], Gaul (the land of the Gallī); hīberna [castra], winter quarters; trirēmis [nāvis], a three-banked galley, trireme; argentārius [faber], a silversmith; rēgia [domus], the palace; Latīnae [fēriae], the Latin festival.
[*] Note.--These adjectives are specific in meaning, not generic like those in § 288. They include the names of winds and months (§ 31).For Nouns used as Adjectives, see § 321. c. For Adverbs used like Adjectives, see § 321. d. [*] 289. Neuter Adjectives are used substantively in the following special senses:— [*] a. The neuter singular may denote either a single object or an abstract quality:—
|raptō vīvere, to live by plunder.||in āridō, on dry ground.|
- honestum, an honorable act, or virtue (as a quality).
- opus est mātūrātō, there is need of haste. [Cf. impersonal passives § 208. d.]
|honesta, honorable deeds (in general).||praeterita, the past (lit., bygones).|
- “ trīste lupus stabulīs ” (Ecl. 3.80) , the wolf [is] a grievous thing for the fold.
- “ varium et mūtābile semper fēmina ” (Aen. 4.569) , woman is ever a changing and fickle thing.
- “ malum mihi vidētur esse mors ” (Tusc. 1.9) , death seems to me to be an evil.
- “ istuc ipsum nōn esse ” (Tusc. 1.12) , that very “not to be.”
- hūmānum est errāre, to err is human.
- aliud est errāre Caesarem nōlle, aliud nōlle miserērī; (Lig. 16), it is one thing to be unwilling that Cæsar should err, another to be unwilling that he should pity.
Adjectives with Adverbial Force[*] 290. An adjective, agreeing with the subject or object, is often used to qualify the action of the verb, and so has the force of an adverb:—
- prīmus vēnit, he was the first to come (came first).
- nūllus dubitō, I no way doubt.
- laetī audiēre, they were glad to hear.
- “erat Rōmae frequēns ” (Rosc. Am. 16) , he was often at Rome.
- “ sērus in caelum redeās ” (Hor. Od. 1.2.45) , mayst thou return late to heaven.
Comparatives and Superlatives[*] 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. [*] 292. When two qualities of an object are compared, both adjectives are in the Comparative:—
- “ longior quam lātior aciēs erat ” (Liv. 27.48) , the line was longer than it was broad (or, rather long than broad).
- vērior quam grātior (id. 22.38), more true than agreeable.
- “ disertus magis quam sapiēns ” (Att. 10.1.4) , eloquent rather than wise.
- “ clārī magis quam honestī ” (Iug. 8) , more renowned than honorable.
- “ clārīs mâiōribus quam vetustīs ” (Tac. Ann. 4.61) , of a family more famous than old.
- “ vehementius quam cautē ” (Tac. Agr. 4) , with more fury than good heed.
- summus mōns, the top of the hill.
- in ultimā plateā, at the end of the place.
- prior āctiō, the earlier part of an action.
- reliquī captīvī, the rest of the prisoners.
- “in colle mediō ” (B. G. 1.24) , half way up the hill (on the middle of the hill).
- “inter cēteram plānitiem ” (Iug. 92) , in a region elsewhere level.