It will help if you know about comparative adjectives before you study this lesson. You can learn about using superlative adjectives below. When you are ready, try these superlative practice exercises.

Using superlative adjectives

Julie is the shortest student in the class.

Look at the picture and the example below. We use superlative adjectives (e.g. the shortest) to say one thing is the most/least in a group of three or more.

Julie is the shortest student in the class.

There are two main ways to make superlative adjectives: the + adjective + est and the most + adjective + est.

There are also some irregular adjectives to remember:

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

How to make superlative adjectives

the + adjective + est (short (one-syllable) adjectives)

long → the longest, fast → the fastest

the + adjective + st (short adjectives ending in -e)

large → the largest, nice → the nicest 

the + adjective + consonant + est (short adjectives ending in vowel + consonant)

hot → the hottest, big → the biggest

the + adjective y + iest (adjectives ending in -y)

pretty → the prettiest, funny → the funniest

the + most + adjective (long adjectives, with two or more syllables)

dangerous → the most dangerous, interesting → the most interesting

Some two-syllable adjectives can make the superlative with either -est or most.

clever → the cleverest / the most clever, simpler → the simplest / the most simple

If you aren't sure how to make the superlative of an adjective, check in a good dictionary. I like the Oxford Learner's dictionary.

Don't forget: you usually need the before the superlative (although you can also use possessives: his best friend, my biggest mistake).


Superlatives: advanced points

We often use a superlative with the present perfect.

She's the nicest person I've ever met.


 Now try these superlative practice exercises.