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OF THE ADJECTIVE.

An Adjective is a part of speech, which being applied to nouns points out their qualities; therefore the name of the quality ascribed to the sub

stantive is always implied in the adjective; and from the name of this quality the adjective is generally derived. Grammarians technically call the name of the quality the abstract, that is, the quality by itself; and the adjective the concrete, that is to say, the quality conjoined to some thing; thus valor, valour, is the abstract; and valeroso, valiant, the concrete; and, when joined to a noun, invests it with the possession of the quality implied; as un gefe valeroso, a valiant chief, or a chief possessed of valour.

Adjectives, like substantives, have the variation of gender, number, and case.

Examples of Nouns declined with Adjectives.

Sing. Nom. el hombre hábil, the clever man.

Object. al hombre hábil,

the clever man. Plur. Nom. los hombres hábiles, the clever men. Object. á los hombres hábiles, the clever men.

Sing. Nom. la muger virtuosa, the virtuous woman. Object. á la muger virtuosa, the virtuous woman. Plur. Nom. las mugeres virtuosas, the virtuous women. Object. á las mugeres virtuosas, the virtuous women.

Sing. Nom. la ley severa, the severe law.

Object. la ley severa,

Plur. Nom. las leyes severas,

the severe law.

Object. las leyes severas, Sing. Nom. el prado fertil, Object. el prado fertil, Plur. Nom. los prados fertiles, Object. los prados fertiles,

the severe laws.
the severe laws.

the fruitful meadow.
the fruitful meadow.
the fruitful meadows.
the fruitful meadows.

From the definition of the adjective which has been already given, it is evident that it never can be used in a sentence without having a substantive, either expressed or understood, to which the qua

lity implied in the adjective is applicable. If the gender of the noun understood can be defined, the adjective is preceded by the article that the noun would require; as el sabio ama la virtud, a wise man loves virtue; but if the adjective qualifies some thing to which we cannot ascribe a gender, the adjective in that case is preceded by the neuter article; as el médico le dixo que no comiera carne, pero ella hizo lo contrario, the physician told her not to eat meat, but she did the contrary.

On Comparatives and Superlatives.

Adjectives admit a variation in the manner of their signification almost peculiar to themselves; for by the addition of certain words the adjective may be made to express its quality, as possessed in a greater or less degree by the noun which it qualiand this variation is called a degree of comparison.

fies;

There are two degrees of comparison, termed the comparative and the superlative.

The simple form of the adjective is called the positive.

The comparative is used to compare one part of a class with another part of the same class: as The sun is brighter than the moon, El sol es mas brillante que la luna; or one portion of a class with a portion of a different class; as The moon is brighter than diamonds, La luna es mas brillante que os diamantes; or a portion of a class with the whole of a different class; as The sun is brighter than precious stones, El sol es mas brillante que las piedras preciosas.

The superlative is used to compare a certain portion of a class with the whole of the same class; as The sun is the brightest of all the planets, El sol es el mas brillante de todos los planetas ; Dia

imonds are the brightest jewels, Los diamantes son las joyas mas brillantes.

Sometimes the adjective is raised to its superlative degree without forming any comparison; as The sun is a very bright planet, El sol es un planeta muy brillante; Diamonds are very bright jewels, Los diamantes son piedras muy brillantes; in this case the superlative means no more than that the quality of brilliancy is possessed by the sun and diamonds in an eminent degree.

Some adjectives are named according to their signification; as ordinal, or adjectives denoting order, such as first, second, third, &c., primero, secundo, tercero, &c.; and cardinal or numeral, that is adjectives expressing numbers; as one, two, three, &c., uno, dos, tres, &c.

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We may also use the comparative to compare a part with the whole of the same class; but then some words must be introduced to denote that the whole of the class is taken into the comparison; as The sun is brighter than any other planet, El sol es mas brillante que ningun otro planeta; Diamonds are brighter than all other precious stones, Los diamantes son mas brillantes que todas las otras piedras preciosas.

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dos cuentos de cuentos, &c. two billions.

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