23/09/2016 EnglishOne

Super Superlatives

How To Use Superlatives


The Guinness Book of World Records has superlatives at its heart.  It’s all about people who have competed globally to achieve the highest or lowest degree of a specific talent or skill.  Superlatives are necessary to accurately describe the weird, wonderful and amazing skills that Guinness World Record holders have demonstrated.

You can check out the Guiness World Records here.

Big Jake - the tallest horse in the world.

Big Jake – the tallest horse in the world.

The tallest living horse.

Here are the ‘superlative’ rules to get you going:

Adjectives with 1 syllable/sound – add ‘est’ to the end of the adjective

  • fast – fastest
  • cool – coolest
  • sharp – sharpest

Adjectives with 2 syllables/sounds – add ‘est’ or adjective + most; when in doubt use ‘most’.

  • narrow – narrowest
  • simple – simplest
  • quiet – quietest

Adjectives with 3 syllables/sounds – put ‘most’ before the base adjective

  • beautiful – most beautiful
  • considerate – most considerate
  • colourful – most colourful

Adjectives ending in ‘y’ with 1/2/3/4 syllables/sounds – delete the ‘y’ & add ‘iest’

  • happy – happiest
  • heavy – heaviest 
  • shiny – shiniest

Superlatives tell us what is different or special about a person, place or thing, and they help us to creatively express our opinions about nouns, e.g. My cousin has the biggest feet in our family.  Cape Town is the most beautiful city in the world.  Lemons are the sourest fruit.

Forms for creating superlative sentences:

We normally use ‘the’ before a superlative.

E.g.  I am the fastest typist at my school.

  • Subject + verb + superlative + Object

E.g.  My cat eats the most food out of all my pets.

  • Subject + verb + quantifier + Object

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