What is a superlative?
Feel free to leave a comment if you find any errors or if you have any suggestions to make to improve this lesson.
Superlative is used to say that a thing, a person or an idea has more (or less) particularity than other similar things.
To do this, we use superlative adjectives:
Look at the following examples:
- The Everest is the highest mountain in the world.
- Nathan is the best football player in the team.
Now let’s look at the formation of English superlative adjectives. There are several types:
Adjectives with one syllable:
Examples: fast, great, quick, short, tall…
it is necessary to add -est
- cheap → the cheapest
- high → the highest
Adjectives with one syllable ending in “e”:
Ex: close, huge, large, strange…
it is necessary to add -st
- nice → the nicest
- wise → the wisest
Adjectives that end in consonant/vowel/consonant:
Ex: fat, red, sad, thin…
it is necessary to add a consumption + -est
- big → the biggest
- hot → the hottest
Adjectives in two syllables ending with -y:
Ex: heavy, tiny…
it is necessary to replace the -y by -iest
- happy → the happiest
- crazy → the craziest
- early → the earliest
- easy → the easiest
- pretty → the prettiest
Adjectives in two or more syllables:
Ex: important, delicious, generous…
It’s necessary to add the most/the least
- beautiful → the most beautiful
- expensive → the most expensive
Superlative irregular adjectives:
- good → the best
- bad → the worst
- far → the furthest
- little → the smallest
To say that two things are equal: As… as…
We use as + adjective + as to say that two things are similar or equal:
- He’s as tall as me.
- Tom’s bike is as fast as mine.
We use not as + adjective + as to say that two things are not equal:
- Danny’s car is not as fast as mine.
⚠️ Superlatives can be modified with by, far, easily and nearly:
- Ti Amo is by far the best restaurant in town.
- She’s nearly the oldest in the class.
⚠️ If there is a possessive in the sentence, we do not use ‘the’ with the adjective superlative:
- Her strongest point is her ambition.
⚠️ Be careful not to confuse superlatives and comparisons!