Superlative Adjectives – صفت عالی

The superlative is used to say what thing or person has the most of a particular quality within a group or of its kind. Superlative adjectives normally come before any other adjectives.



Snowdon is not the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis is.

Mount Snowdon is 3,559 feet high.

Ben Nevis is 4,408 feet high.

Forming the superlative



For example

Words of one syllable ending in 'e'.

Add -st to the end of the word.

wide - widest

Words of one syllable, with one vowel and one consonant at the end.

Double the consonant and add -est to the end of the word.

big - biggest

Words of one syllable, with more than one vowel or more than one consonant at the end.

Add - est to the end of the word.

high - highest

Words of two syllables, ending in 'y'.

Change 'y' to 'i', and add -est to the end of the word.

happy - happiest

Words of two syllables or more, not ending in 'y'.

Place 'the most' before the adjective.

beautiful - the most beautiful

The following adjectives are exceptions:

  • 'good' becomes 'the best'
  • 'bad' becomes 'the worst'
  • 'far' becomes 'the furthest'

For example:

  • "Jill is the best student in the class ."
  • "Jack is the worst student in the class."
  • "In our solar system the planet Pluto is the furthest planet from the Sun."

!Note - superlatives are usually preceded by 'the'.

For example:

  • "The Rio de la Plata river, on the southeast coastline of South America, is the widest river in the world."
  • According to the List of World records Carol Yager (1960-1994), from Michigan, is the fattest person ever to live, weighing 725 kg (1,600 lb).
  • "Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world."
  • "I think that Castle Combe is the prettiest village in England."
  • "Arguably, Rome is the most beautiful city in the world."


· 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.

· In the example below, "biggest" is the superlative form of the adjective "big":


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

Normal 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

Normal rule: use "most"

modern → the most modern
expensive → the most expensive

With some 2-syllable adjectives, we can use '-est' or 'most':

  • quiet → the quietest/most quiet
  • clever → the cleverest/most clever
  • narrow → the narrowest/most narrow
  • simple → the simplest/most simple

The following adjectives have irregular forms:

  • good → the best
  • bad → the worst
  • far → the furthest


Use of Superlative Adjectives

We use a superlative adjective to describe one thing in a group of three or more things. Look at these examples:

  • John is 1m75. David is 1m80. Chris is 1m85. Chris is the tallest.
  • Canada, China and Russia are big countries. But Russia is the biggest.
  • Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world.

If we talk about the three planets Earth, Mars and Jupiter, we can use superlative adjectives as shown in the table below:






Diameter (km)




Jupiter is the biggest.

Distance from Sun (million km)




Jupiter is the most distant from the Sun.

Length of day (hours)




Jupiter has the shortest day.





Jupiter has the most moons.

Surface temp.
(degrees Celcius)




Jupiter is the coldest.

When we compare one thing with itself, we do not use "the":

  • England is coldest in winter. (not the coldest)
  • My boss is most generous when we get a big order. (not the most generous)

موضوعات مرتبط: گرامر

تاريخ : Tue 9 Jul 2013 | 15:15 PM | نویسنده : |