- English Grammar A1 Level - https://open.books4languages.com/english-a1-grammar -

Superlative of Adjectives and Adverbs

Introduction

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.

Form

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.

Example

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.

Use

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.

Summary

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

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:
One-syllable
— 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.”

Two-syllables
— 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.