Superlatives

We use superlative adjectives to say that something is more or less than all the rest. The rules for making superlatives are as follows:

1- One syllable adjectives

Superlative adjectives with only one syllable are made by adding “est” to the end of the adjective

the

+

Adjective

+

est


Jim is the fastest runner in the school.

Suwałki is the coldest place in Poland.

* NOTE: If the adjective ends with an e, we simply add st.

New York is the largest city is North America.


2- One syllable adjectives ending with a vowel and consonant

We make superlatives with one syllable adjectives ending with a vowel and consonant by doubling the consonant at the end and adding “est” at the end of the adjective.

for example: big (“i” = vowel and “g” = consonant)


the

+

Adjective

+

doubled consonant

+

est


Russia is the biggest country in the world.

The Danakil Depression id the hottest place on earth

* NOTE: This is not always the case, there are some exceptions.

Joe used to be the coolest guy in school.


3- Two or more syllable adjectives

We make superlatives with adjectives having two or more syllables by adding most before the adjecitve

For example: popular, /po-pu-lar/, has three syllables.


the

+

most

+

Adjective


That was probably the most interesting film I’ve ever seen.

Apparently, Chinese is the most difficult language to learn.

* NOTE: We can make negative superlatives by saying the least, instead of “the most”, with these types of adjectives.

That has got to be the most boring party I’ve been to.

4- Two or more syllable adjectives ending with “y”

If an adjective having two or more syllables ends with “y” we make superlatives by removing the “y” and adding with “iest” to the end of the adjective.

the

+

Adjective (minus “y”)

+

iest

+


Today has been the sunniest of our vacation, so far.

She used to be the prettiest girl in our class.


5- Irregular adjectives

Some adjectives are irregular, meaning that they cannot be turned into superlative adjectives using the previously mentioned rules, they completely change. The following table shows a few examples:

Adjecitve

Superlative

good/well

the best

bad

the worst

far

the farthest/the furthest


I think the last song on their new CD is the worst.


* Note: It is also possible to use Possessive Pronouns or possessive ‚s’ instead of the if we know who the superlative object belongs to.

That was his best record.

It’s Laura's most expensive dress.

For superlative exercises go to:

Superlative Exercise 1