Superlative Adjectives | Grammar | EnglishClub

A superlative adjective expresses the extreme or highest degree of a quality. We use a superlative adjective to describe the extreme quality of one thing in a group of things.

We can use superlative adjectives when talking about three or more things (not two things).

In the example below, “biggest” is the superlative form of the adjective “big”:

A   B   C
A is the biggest.

Formation of Superlative Adjectives

As with comparative adjectives, there are two ways to form a superlative adjective:

  • short adjectives: add “-est”
  • long adjectives: use “most”

We also usually add ‘the’ at the beginning.

Short adjectives
1-syllable adjectives old, fast
2-syllable adjectives ending in -y happy, easy
RULE: add “-est” old → the oldest
Variation: if the adjective ends in -e, just add -st late → the latest
Variation: if the adjective ends in consonant, vowel, consonant, double the last consonant big → the biggest
Variation: if the adjective ends in -y, change the y to i happy → the happiest
Long adjectives
2-syllable adjectives not ending in -y modern, pleasant
all adjectives of 3 or more syllables expensive, intellectual
RULE: use “most” modern → the most modern
expensive → the most expensive

Exception: The following adjectives have irregular forms:

  • good → the best
  • bad → the worst
  • far → the farthest/furthest
READ:  Stephen Mogge | Towson University

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