Superlative Adjectives: Definition, Examples, and How to Use Them

5 July 2023 / Team Fun English Course

You may want to describe someone’s eyes as beautiful but incredibly stunning, surpassing any eye you have seen. Similarly, a love song can be so touching that it beats all other love songs of the past decade. 

Among various types of adjectives, the superlative adjective stands out in such situations. By utilizing superlative adjectives, you can refer to a song as the saddest you have ever heard or declare an eye the best in history. 

Delve into this article to gain a deeper understanding of the superlative adjective.

What is A Superlative Adjective?

What is A Superlative Adjective

A superlative adjective is used in comparisons to describe something as being of the highest degree among three or more things. It allows us to express superiority or excellence. For example, when we say “tallest” or “bravest,” we use this type of adjective.

On the other hand, the superlative adjective is formed from the positive type of adjective. Adjectives like “funny”, “brave”, and “smelly”, for instance, are in the positive form. 

While the comparative form, marked by “-er” or “more,” indicates a higher degree, the superlative form may denote the utmost degree of the adjective – marked by “-est” or “most”.

The General Rule of Superlative Adjectives

Rule of Superlative Adjectives

Previously, we mentioned that adding “the most” as the prefix or the suffix “-est” can modify an adjective to indicate superiority. But how do we determine which form to use when modifying a specific adjective? Here are the general rules and examples of superlative adjectives.

One-Syllable Adjectives

  • Add -est to the end (e.g., warmest).
  • If the adjective ends in -e, add -st (e.g., finest).
  • If the adjective ends in -y, replace -y with -i before adding -est (e.g., prettiest).

One-Syllable Adjectives Ending in Consonant-Vowel-Consonant

We double the final consonant and add –est to intensify the adjective’s meaning. For example:

  • Big – biggest
  • Fat – fattest
  • Red – reddest
  • Tall – tallest

Two-Syllable Adjectives Ending in –y

These adjectives have a specific rule when forming their superlative form. In these cases, we drop the “-y” at the end of the adjective and replace it with “-i” before adding “-est”. For example:

  • Happy – happiest
  • Noisy – noisiest
  • Moody – moodiest
  • Spicy – spiciest

Two-Syllable Adjectives Ending in –er, -le, or –ow

To use this type of adjective, you can add “-est” to the end of the adjective. Here are several examples.

  • Mellow – mellowest
  • Simple – simplest
  • Tender – tenderest

Adjectives with Two or More Syllables

Adjectives with two or more syllables have a different rule when forming their superlative form. Instead of adding “-est” to the end, we typically use the words “most” or “least” before the positive state of the adjective. For example:

  • Interesting – most interesting
  • Creative – most creative
  • Stunning – most stunning

However, some adjectives may have other acceptable ways to form the superlative, such as most fun and funniest.

How Do You Put a Superlative Adjective in a Sentence?

Superlative Adjective in a Sentence

You can use superlative adjectives before a noun/pronoun or as subject complements with a linking verb. Meanwhile, “the” or a possessive is usually included. Check out these examples:

  • Diana is the goofiest in the circle.
  • However, her smile is the most gorgeous.
  • You need to help him find the least expensive flat.
  • Renting this cottage while having an unstable income is the worst idea.

That’s a brief overview of superlative adjectives, which can be valuable to your English. So, are you ready to level up your English skills? Join the Fun English Course and take your language proficiency to new heights! 

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, we offer programs for all levels, from English for Children and Conversation Classes to English for Business and Test Preparation Classes. Enhance your understanding of superlative adjectives and have fun while doing it with Fun English Course!

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