Superlative Adjectives

You use superlative adjectives to compare something to many other things. Use superlative adjectives to say that something is better or greater than everything else.

John is the tallest person on the team.

You are comparing John's height to the other people on the team. John is taller than everyone else. This example uses the superlative form of the adjective 'tall'.

If you are comparing two things, you might want to use a comparative adjective.

You always use 'the' before a superlative adjective.

Mount Everest is the highest mountain.

You are comparing Mount Everest to all other mountains. Mount Everest is higher than all other mountains. Notice we use 'the' before the superlative 'highest'.

Spelling Rules for Superlatives

Most superlative adjectives end in -est. The spelling rules are based how many syllables the adjective has.

One Syllable Words

For most one syllable adjectives you make the superlative form by adding -est.

One syllable adjectives
Adjective Superlative
tall tallest
long longest
fast fastest

If the adjective already ends in e, you just add -st.

One syllable adjectives ending in e
Adjective Superlative
large largest
wide widest

For some adjectives you need to double the last letter before you add -est. You do this when the last three letters of the word have the pattern consonant-vowel-consonant.

Vowels are the letters a, e, i, o, u. All other letters are consonants.

One syllable adjectives that need a double letter
Adjective Superlative
big biggest
hot hottest

Words Ending in y

For adjectives ending in y, you make the superlative form by changing the y to an i, then adding -est.

Adjectives ending in y
Adjective Superlative
happy happiest
pretty prettiest

Two Syllable Words

For most words with two syllables or more, you make the superlative form by adding the word most before the adjective.

Two+ syllable adjectives
Adjective Superlative
beautiful most beautiful
important most important

Butterflies are the most beautiful insects.

The adjective beautiful has three syllables. Notice that we use 'the most' before 'beautiful'.

Making Superlative Sentences

+ John is the tallest person on the team. noun=John + v=be + the + superlative

- John is not the tallest person on the team. noun=John + v=be + not + the + superlative

? Is John the tallest person on the team? be + noun=John + the + superlative

? Does John run the fastest? Do + noun=John + v + the + superlative?