How to use – English grammar Superlatives (Most, best, biggest)


English grammar – Superlatives

 We reviewed the comparative form (comparison) in my last blog post, so today let’s review superlatives. Most, best, biggest…
Superlatives are the highest degree of comparison. Superlatives are used when we talk about an object which is at the top level or the bottom level of a quality. (the greatest, the most exciting, the busiest, the least popular, eg.)
We use superlatives in sentences where a subject is compared to a group of objects.
Superlatives adjectives end in ~est

“This blog is the greatest English learning blog in the world!”

…or follow the words most or least.

“The Empire Strikes Back is the most exciting movie of the Star Wars series.”

 “Jar Jar Binks is the least popular Star Wars character.”
Learn English superlatives
~ The way we make superlative adjectives
is similar to the way we make comparative adjectives.

① For a one-syllable adjective add ~est to the end of the word.

long – longest

“The Amazon is the longest river in the world.” (According to Wikipedia)
big – biggest (sometimes we need to double the last consonant)
“The Great Dane is the biggest breed of dog.”
② If the one syllable adjective ends with an “e” you just need to add the letters ~st.
fine – finest
“If you ask me, Club Gascon is the finest restaurant in London.”

That puppy is the cutest!

cute – cutest
“Let’s get that puppy! He’s the cutest!”

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③ If a two-syllable word ends with a “y” then we will change the “y” to an “i” and add ~est.

busy – busiest

“The busiest airport in the world is the Atlanta International Airport in Georgia.”

 ④ If an adjective has two syllables but doesn’t end in “y” or it has three or more syllables, we put the words most or least in front.

 “She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen!”
(Compared with all the women I have seen in my life.)

 “That was the most interesting class I have ever taken!”
(Compared with all the classes I have ever taken.)

 “Winter is my least favorite season.”
(Compared with the other 3 seasons.)

It’s common in English to say that something is the worst
if we really don’t like it.
“I got gum on my new shoes this morning! That’s the worst!” 

English Grammar superlatives – Irregular adjectives

🔸Irregular adjectives and their superlatives🔸
good – better – best
bad – worse – worst

far – further/farther – farthest/furthest
“Alex is the best golfer I know. At the summer tournament, he hit the ball the farthest. His drive went 250 yards!” (Almost 230 meters.)
Learn English superlatives

English grammar Superlatives with THE

Superlatives are used with the article the.

English articles

We use the articles A, and AN when we talk about one thing, in general. One of many things. We use the article THE when we talk about a specific thing. Specific means one and only one, not one of many.

Example- “Jim came to the meeting and sat in a chair.” = There are several chairs in the room, Jim sat in one of them (one of many) so we use a chair.

“Jim came to the meeting and sat in the chair beside the coffee machine.” = This time Jim sat in a specific chair, the chair beside the coffee machine. There is only one chair beside the coffee machine so we say the chair. (Also only 1 coffee machine!)

A superlative always refers to one specific thing. There is only one biggest, best or most (adjective) thing. It’s specific so we need to use the article the with the superlative adjective connected to the noun.

 “Mt. Everest is the highest mountain in the world.”

“The Amazon is the longest river in the world.”“Alex is the best golfer I know. At the summer tournament, he hit the ball the farthest.”

 *Superlatives are used with one specific noun, but we can also count superlatives as part of a larger group. We will still use the in these examples. Please look at the following:

 “America and China are 2 of the biggest countries in the world.”

In the group of the biggest countries in the world, America and China are near the top.

Top 5 biggest countries by area.

(The amount of land, not population.)
1 Russia  
2 Canada  
3 United States of America
4 China
5 Brazil
“Rolls Royce and Ferrari are 2 of the most expensive cars in the world.”
There are many expensive cars that you can buy, Rolls Royce and Ferrari are near the top of that group. (The group of the most expensive cars.)
There are many hot places in the world. I often talk about how hot Tokyo is in the summer, but many of my blog readers live in places even hotter!
I did some research for this blog to find the hottest place in the world. I was surprised by what I found! Can you guess where the hottest temperature has ever been recorded? The Middle East? South America? I guessed Africa but…..
The answer is California! A place called Death Valley, part of the Mojave desert. (Pronounced MOH-HA-VEE)
According to Wikipedia:
“The hottest air temperature ever recorded in Death Valley was 134 °F (57 °C) on July 10, 1913.” This is the hottest temperature ever recorded on earth. That’s hot!!!!!
Death Valley is also the lowest and driest area in North America.

(There is nowhere in North America lower or drier.)

Your turn!

Do you understand English superlative grammar now? What is the average temperature during your county’s summer? What is the hottest month in your country?

*August is the hottest month for some of us, but not for my friends in the Southern hemisphere. Maybe August is the coldest month for you… So if you live in Chile or Brazil or anywhere in the Southern half of the world, when is your hottest month? How hot does it get? Tell me in the comments! Practice using your English and tell me about where you live! The comment section is at the bottom of the page.

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