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Standard Latvian Grammar - Adjectives

Hi Standard Latvian learners! 😊
In this lesson, we will focus on adjectives and their usage in Standard Latvian.

Consider exploring these related pages after completing this lesson: Standard Latvian Grammar: Introduction to Latvian grammar: The ..., Pronouns, Negation & 0 to A1 Course.

What are Adjectives?[edit | edit source]

Adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns or pronouns. They typically answer questions like which one, what kind, or how many? In Standard Latvian, adjectives are declined for case, number, and gender to agree with the nouns they modify.


Standard Latvian Pronunciation English
zaļš [ˈzaːɫʃ] green

In this example, "zaļš" is an adjective that describes the noun.

Declension of Adjectives[edit | edit source]

Just like nouns, adjectives in Standard Latvian are declinable. They take different endings based on the noun they modify. Adjectives are declined for case, number, and gender. In general, adjectives follow the same declension patterns as nouns. As a rule of thumb, adjectives come after the noun they modify, but when used in a predicate, they come before the noun.


Standard Latvian Pronunciation English
Zilo ziedu dārzs [ˈzilo ˈziedu ˈdaːrʒs] The blue flower garden
Dārzs ir zils [daːrʒs ir zils] The garden is blue

In the first example, the adjective "zilo" comes after the noun "ziedu" and both are declined in the nominative case. In the second example, the adjective "zils" comes before the noun "dārzs" since it is used in a predicate.

Comparing Adjectives[edit | edit source]

In Standard Latvian, adjectives can be compared to indicate degrees of comparison: positive, comparative, and superlative. The comparison of adjectives is formed using different endings and auxiliary words.

Positive degree: This is the basic form of the adjective when it is not being compared.


Standard Latvian Pronunciation English
liels [liɛls] big

Comparative degree: This is used to compare two things or people.


Standard Latvian Pronunciation English
lielāks [lɪɛlaːks] bigger

Superlative degree: This is used to compare three or more things or people.


Standard Latvian Pronunciation English
lielākais [lɪɛlaːkais] the biggest

Irregular Adjectives[edit | edit source]

Just like in any other language, there are some irregular adjectives in Standard Latvian that do not follow the usual patterns. Here are a few examples:

Standard Latvian Pronunciation English
labs [lāps] good
liels [liɛls] big
mazs [māzs] small
vecs [vɛts] old

Practice Dialogue[edit | edit source]

To better understand the usage of adjectives in Standard Latvian, let's see it in context.

  • Person 1: Ko tu darīsi šodien? (What will you do today?)
  • Person 2: Es aiziešu uz lielo muzeju Rīgā. (I will go to the big museum in Riga.)
  • Person 1: Tā ir lielāka nekā maza galerija, kas atrodas mana mājās. (That is bigger than a small gallery that is located in my house.)
  • Person 2: Bet arī stāsts, kas tos saistījis, ir interesants. Jums vajadzētu to pārbaudīt nākamreiz, kad būsiet pilsētā. (But also the story that ties them together is interesting. You should check it out next time when you are in the city.)

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

Adjectives play an important role in describing nouns and pronouns in Standard Latvian. They are declined for case, number, and gender, and come after or before the noun, depending on their usage. In order to improve your Standard Latvian Grammar, you can also use the Polyglot Club website. Find native speakers and ask them any questions! Don't forget to check the Grammar section for more information.

➡ If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments section below.
➡ Feel free to edit this wiki page if you think it can be improved. 😎

Congratulations on finishing this lesson! Explore these related pages to keep learning: Standard Latvian Grammar: The Subjunctive Mood and Wishes, Standard Latvian Grammar → The genitive and possessive forms ..., Indirect objects and the dative case & Nouns and their declensions.

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