What are Superlative Adjectives? Definition, Rules, and Examples

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Superlative Adjectives are the best adjectives for demonstrating the finest quality of anyone and anything. So, if you are about to make a comparison between three or more nouns or pronouns, this degree of comparison will be your saviour. But, you must know how to use superlative adjectives like a grammar nazi to do so. In fact, this is when you need to delve deeper into this blog to know what exactly superlative adjectives are along with their rules and usage. 

Learn More About Adjective: Definition, Usage, Example, Forms, and Types here!

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What are Superlative Adjectives?

First and foremost, you need to note that the Superlative adjectives are a tool to describe something as being the best, biggest, fastest, or most of its kind. Moreover, its formation includes the suffix “-est” at the end of the adjective, or the word “most” before the adjective.

So, as long as the word after the formation is meaningful, it can be a superlative. However, you should avoid adding suffixes to words like “Unique”, as it is already a superlative adjective. 

Let’s take a look at the following example for a better understanding of this definition:

Adjective Superlative
Big Biggest
Fast Fastest
Intelligent Most Intelligent

How to Use Superlative Adjectives in a Sentence?

There are certain things you need to keep in mind while using this degree of Adjective in English. Because, if you are not using them sparingly then it can lead to miscommunication. So let’s take a look at the following usage of the adjectives before you get going:

  • If you are comparing two things, you would use a relative superlative adjective.

For Example: taller than, faster than.

  • When comparing three or more things, you would use an absolute superlative adjective.

For Example: tallest, fastest.

  • Too many superlatives can make your writing sound weak and unbelievable. So, only use superlatives when necessary to emphasise a point.
  • Don’t just say that something is the “best.” Explain what makes it the best. 

For example, “This is the best cake I’ve ever eaten.” (Less Specific)

“This chocolate cake is the moistest and most flavorful cake I’ve ever had.” (More Specific)

What are the Different Types of Superlatives?

There are mainly two types of superlatives to implement your learning so far in practicality. So, let’s check them out one by one through the descriptions below: 

Irregular Superlatives

Absolute superlatives describe things without following a specific pattern. Thus it requires words like the best, biggest, fastest, or most of its kind in the world for an explanation. You can also check the table below to understand better about its usage:

Adjective Superlative
Good Best
Bad Worst
Little Least
Many Most

Regular Superlatives

Unlike its fellow superlative adjective, the Regular ones follow the natural course of pattern. So, its formation contains the suffix (-est) at the end of an adjective. For example:

Adjective Superlative
Cheap Cheapest
Creep Creepiest
Smart Smartest

Superlative Adverbs

On the other hand, there are words which become meaningless if you follow the set course of formation. Therefore, you generally add “most” before the adjective. For example:

  • Most quickly
  • Most easily
  • Most efficiently
  • Most Effectively

Quick Read: All about Regular and Irregular Verbs

5 Important Spelling Rules of Superlative Adjectives

Make sure to add these important spelling rules in your learning to improve your usage of superlative adjectives:

Rule 1: One-syllable adjectives follow the suffix ‘-est’ without altering the spelling.

For Example: Cool > Coolest

                        Quick > Quickest

Rule 2: Add the suffix ‘-st’ instead of ‘-est’ in adjectives ending with ‘e’.

For Example: Cute > Cutest

                        Free > Freest

Rule 3: Adjectives ending in consonant-vowel-consonant require you to double the consonant before adding the suffix ‘-est’ 

For Example: Big > Biggest

                        Thin > Thinnest

Rule 4: Words ending in ‘-le’, ‘-er’, or ‘-ow’ do not succeed the adverb ‘most’.

For Example: Shallow > Shallowest

                        Clever > Cleverest

Rule 5: Replace ‘-y’ and add suffix ‘-iest’ in adjectives ending in ‘-y’.

For Example: Crazy > Craziest

                        Likely > Likeliest

Quick Read: Jumbled Words: Tips, Tricks & Sample Questions

Superlative Adjectives Examples

So far, you have learned how to modify an adjective to make it the greatest. Now, check the following examples to see how it works in a sentence:

  1. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world.
  2. Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world.
  3. The cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world.
  1. The blue whale is the largest animal on Earth.
  2. The human brain is the most complex object in the known universe.
  3. The Sahara Desert is the largest desert in the world.
  1. The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world.
  2. The Grand Canyon is the deepest and widest canyon in the world.
  3. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world.
  4. The Dead Sea is the saltiest body of water in the world.
  5. The Mariana Trench is the deepest point in the ocean.
  1. The Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world.
  2. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 is one of the most popular and influential pieces of classical music ever written.
  3. Shakespeare’s Hamlet is one of the most famous and performed plays in the world.
  4. The Bible is the best-selling book of all time.

Explore more Exciting Reads on Adjectives Below!

Descriptive Adjectives Demonstrative Adjectives
Interrogative Adjectives Numerical Adjectives
Possessive Adjectives Proper Adjectives
Article Adjectives Quantifier Adjectives
Compound Adjectives Predicative Adjectives
Attributive Adjectives Comparative Adjectives
Superlative Adjectives Degree of Comparision

This was all about the Superlative Adjectives and how to use them. Hope you understand the concept and where it’s used. You can also follow Leverage Edu for more exciting and informative blogs.

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