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Adjectives

Adjectives are words that attribute a quality to a person or thing. In Ido, all adjectives end in -a:

bona good
mala bad
leda ugly

Any word that isn’t already an adjective can be made into one simply by changing its ending to -a. One might also add -al- (“concerning”), -oz- (“having”), or other affix to the word’s root, depending on the meaning one wants to convey:

oro gold
Me esas ora deo! I am a golden god! (a god made of gold)
Me esas orea deo! I am a golden god! (a gold-colored god)
Mi esas orala deo! I am a god of gold! (a god concerning gold)
Mi esas oroza deo! I am a god that has gold!

Conversely, any adjective can be turned into a noun simply by changing its ending to -o:

bono a good person or thing
malo a bad person or thing
ledo an ugly person or thing
orozo someone or something that has gold
oreo a gold-colored person or thing

Not that this is always necessary, as adjectives can often do duty for nouns as-is:

la bona, la mala, e la leda the good, the bad, and the ugly

In these cases, to emphasize that an adjective is describing something in the plural, one uses le instead of la:

le bona, le mala, e le leda
= la boni, la mali, e la ledi
the good, the bad, and the ugly
Evitez le verda. Li ankore ne esas matura. Avoid the green ones. They’re not ripe yet.

Where euphony permits, one can drop the final -a in adjectives, if one is so inclined, though it’s recommended to limit this to words with suffixes:

le bon, le mal, e le led the good, the bad, and the ugly
amikal pafo friendly fire

Note that dropping the final -a does not change the stress; amikal is pronounced ami'kal, not a'mikal.


The Placement of Adjectives

Ido is somewhat unique among languages in that the placement of adjectives is largely determined by the relative number of syllables they have: if an adjective is longer than the noun it describes by two or more syllables, or if multiple adjectives are being used, the noun comes first:

linguo internaciona an international language
nerfisto egista, imbecila, e desneta a stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder
Quala lineon di kozi magracha, rakitika, cedema, velkinta, obtuza, manu-domajita, e klaudikanta vu genitos? What kind of spindly, ricket-ridden, milky, wizened, dim-eyed, gammy-handed, limpy line of things will you beget?

If, on the other hand, the adjective and the noun are more or less the same length, placement of the adjective is determined by euphony, by which it is meant that words beginning with a vowel should usually come first in order to avoid the final vowel of one word colliding with the initial vowel of the other:

egista nerfisto > nerfisto egista a stuck-up nerf-herder
nerfisto desneta = desneta nerfisto a scruffy-looking nerf-herder

If this prescribed convention of counting syllables to determine the order of one’s words seems unduly burdensome, one can take heart in that it really only applies to formal writing; in conversation, for example, one is free to place adjectives before or after the nouns as one sees fit.

However, adjectives and participles that have a complement must come after the person or thing being described:

Me vidis cielo nigra pro fumo. I saw a sky black from smoke.
Me esas anjelo exterminanta pudeli. I am an angel exterminating poodles.

Degrees of Comparison

“All animals are equal,” declares the ever-amended constitution in Animal Farm, “but some animals are more equal than others”. Such comparisons (equal and unequal) are expressed in Ido in much the same way as they are in English:

Vu esas min egala kam me. You are less equal than I.
Vu esas (tote) tam egala kam me. You are (just) as equal as I.
Vu esas (mem) plu egala kam me. You are (even) more equal than I.
Vu esas la plu egala de/ek la du. You are the more equal of/out of the two.
Vu divenas sempre plu egala ye omna dio. You’re becoming more and more equal every day.
Vu esas la maxim egala de/ek omni. You are the most equal of/out of all.
Vu esas la minim egala de/ek omni. You are the least equal of all.
Quankam amba vi esas egala, me preferas vu (plu multe) kam vua amiko. Though you are both equal, I prefer you to (more than) your friend.

As might be expected from a planned language, there are no irregular or synthetic comparatives, as there are in English and other languages:

bona, plu bona, maxim bona good, better, best
stupida, plu stupida, maxim stupida dumb, dumber, dumbest