L10: PART 2: ADVERBS OF MANNER – THE ABSOLUTE SUPERLATIVE
Gli avverbi di maniera – le forme superlative:
Parte Due: Il superlativo assoluto
In Part 1 of this Lesson we looked at the relative superlative and how that extends the comparison that is made when using the comparative form of the adverb. In this Part 2, we look at the absolute superlative and explain its function, which is different to the relative form.
The absolute superlative form is not used to make a comparison, which is the function of the relative superlative. Rather it is used to make a statement, eg Monica looks very beautiful, John drives very slowly, without reference to anyone or anything else.
In Italian, the absolute superlative is formed by adding –issimo to the stem adverb. However, if the adverb ends in –mente, then you must first add –issima then –mente to the stem word; that is to say, it follows the same rule of using the feminine gender form that applies when forming adverbs of manner that end -mente. There are times also when you need to use molto before the adverb.
very slowly - lentissimamente
very clearly - molto chiaramente
very often - spessissimo
very soon - prestissimo
I miei genitori abitano molto lontano da me ma sono sempre nei miei pensieri.
My parents live very far away from me but they are always in my thoughts
A causa di un problema con le gambe, Ciro cammina lentissimamente
Because of a problem with his legs, Ciro walks very slowly
Luigi ha capito chiarissimamente che c’era molto lavoro di fare
Luigi understood very clearly that there was much work to do
Vado spessissimo in palestra
I go to the gym very often
Dino ha detto a Maria che dovevano partire prestissimo
Dino told Maria that they had to leave very soon
The absolute superlative can also be rendered with the use of words such as molto (very) or estremamente (extremely).
Alda parla sempre molto chiaramente
Alda always speaks very clearly
Enrico guida lentissimamente
Enrico drives extremely slowly
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