42 Adjectives – Superlative

Adjectives

Superlative Adjectives are determiners used to make a comparison between things, people or actions, expressing the superiority of one thing, person or action who has a higher level of a particular quality.

The Superlative form of an adjective is obtained differently depending on its number of syllables and on its suffix. We use the determiner the before the adjective.

The formula of the Superlative form is:
Subject + verb + the + superlative adjective + object

One syllable

Generally, with one-syllable adjectives we just add -est.
With one-syllable adjectives ending with one vowel and one consonant we usually double the final consonant before adding -est (ex. big -> biggest).
With one-syllable adjective ending with -e we just add -st.

The + adj + -est

clean the cleanest
long the longest
old the oldest
simple the simplest
small the smallest

Two syllables ending in -y

Suffix –y: change -y to –and add –est.

early the earliest
funny the funniest
friendly the friendliest
happy the happiest
pretty the prettiest

Two or more syllables not ending in -y

We add the most before the adjective: the most + adjective (without changes).

beautiful the most beautiful
boring the most boring
difficult the most difficult
popular the most popular
modern the most modern

We cannot change the adjectives with the most. […the most + adjective (without changes)…].

One syllable

  • I have the cleanest desk in the office.
  • She has the oldest shop in the street.
  • They believe that Italian is the simplest language in the world.

 Two syllables ending with -y

  • You are the funniest woman alive.
  • She is the friendliest girl I’ve ever met.
  • Esperanza and Sofia are the prettiest girls in Valencia.

 Two or more syllables not ending with -y

  • I think that tennis is the most boring sport.
  • ‘War and Peace’ is the most difficult Russian book to read.
  • Far east countries’ languages are the most popular languages to learn.

We use Superlative Adjectives when we want to express the superiority of one thing, person or action over another.

We use Superlative Adjectives when we wish to make a comparison between things, people or actions, expressing the superiority of one thing, person or action who has a higher level of a particular quality.

The formation of the Superlative differs depending on the number of syllables and the suffix.

For example:
One-syllable adjectives: “Claire is the oldest girl in the class.” = Because the word old has one syllable, we just add -est (When the adjective ends in -e we just add –st).
Two-syllables adjectives ending in -y:Claire is the prettiest girl in the class.” = Because the word pretty has two syllables and ends with -y, -y becomes -i and we need to add -est.
Two or more syllables adjectives not ending in -y:Claire is the most sympathetic girl in the class.” = Because the word sympathetic has more than one syllable, we need to write most before the adjective. The adjective does not change when using most.

Let’s revise this content within the [Form] section. Take a look at the [Example] section that shows its use within a context.