Unit 8.2

Superlative of Adjectives and Adverbs


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The superlative adjectives/adverbs are used to make a comparison between things, people or actions, expressing the superiority of one thing, person or action which has the highest level of a particular quality.


The superlative can be formed by using adjectives or adverbs. The determiner the comes before the adjective/adverb to show that something is superior to other things.

The structure of the sentence is:
Subject + verb + the + superlative adjective/adverb + noun/adjective + …

The superlative form of an adjective/adverb is obtained differently depending on its number of syllables and on its suffix.

One syllable:

  • Adjective/adverb: we add –est (clean ⇒ cleanest);
  • Adjective/adverb with suffix –e: we add -st (simple ⇒ simplest);
  • Adjectives ending with one vowel and one consonant: we double the final consonant before adding -est (big ⇒ biggest).

Two syllables (with suffix -y):

  • Adjective/adverb with suffix -y: change -y to –i and add –est (friendly ⇒ the friendliest).

Two syllables (without suffix-y) or more syllables:

  • Adjective/adverb without suffix -y: we add the most before the adjective/adverbthe most + adjective/adverb (without changes) (beautiful ⇒ the most beautiful).

When we use the most, the form of adjectives/adverbs remains the same.


One syllable

  • I have the cleanest room in the house.
  • She has the oldest shop along the street.
  • They tried their hardest to buy an apartment.

Two syllables (with -y)

  • You are the funniest woman alive.
  • She is the friendliest girl I’ve ever met.
  • We wake up the earliest to take shower.

Two syllables (without -y) or more syllables

  • 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 to learn.


We use superlative adjectives/adverbs when we want to express the superiority of one thing, person or action over the others in a certain aspect.


We use superlative adjectives/adverbs when we make a comparison between things, people or actions, expressing the superiority of one that has a higher level of a particular quality than the other.

When we use superlative adjectives or adverbs, we start with the subject and the verb followed by the and the superlative adjective or adverb, followed by a noun or an adjective.

Their form differs according to the number of syllables and the suffix of the adjective.

For example:
— We add -est at the end of the word: “Tall” ⇒ “Claire is the tallest girl in the class.
— With suffix -e, we add -st: “Nice” ⇒ “Anne is the nicest girl I know.
— With one vowel + one consonant, we double the consonant and add -est.: “Thin” ⇒ “Karl is the thinnest.”

— With suffix -y, -y becomes -i, and we add -est: “Hungry ⇒ “Claire is the hungriest girl in the class.”

Two or more syllables
— (Without suffix -y) We add most before the adjective/adverb: “Tired” ⇒ “Claire is the most tired girl in the class.”

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

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