Superlatives and Superlative Adjectives in Spanish
There are two types of superlatives in Spanish: absolute and relative. Below we'll explore both.
Absolute SuperlativesAbsolute superlatives describe a noun in absolute terms, they do not describe a noun within the context of a group. Review the following examples of absolute superlatives.
Veronica is very intelligent.
Veronica es muy inteligente.
The car is extremely fast.
El coche es extremadamente rápido.
She is indescribably beautiful.
Ella es indescriptiblemente hermosa.
Relative SuperlativesRelative superlatives describe nouns within the context of a group. They provide a relative measure or comparison of nouns. In English, relative superlatives are formed using the ending "-est" and the word "most". In Spanish, the relative superlative is formed using the following formula:
definite article + noun + más (menos) + adjective + de
Review the following examples of relative superlatives in Spanish.
Veronica is the most intelligent girl in the class.
Verónica es la chica más inteligente de la clase.
That is the fastest car in the world.
Ese es el coche más rápido del mundo.
She is the most indescribably beautiful woman in Brazil.
Ella es la más indescriptiblemente hermosa mujer en Brasil.
She is my least favorite singer in the entire world.
Ella es mi cantante menos favorita en el mundo entero.
Superlative AdjectivesIn Spanish, superlative adjectives are almost identical to relative superlatives. They express the maximum amount or quality of an adjective. In English, superlative adjectives would be described as "the most" or "the least" of something. Superlative adjectives are formed using the following formulas:
menos + adjective + de (least ... of)
más + adjective + de (most ... of)
Consider the following example sentences that use superlative adjectives.
My friend is the least responsible person of his class.
Mi amigo es la persona menos responsable de la clase.
She is the most intelligent girl of the school.
Ella es la chica más inteligente de la escuela.
Short SuperativesIn Spanish, superlatives can also be formed by adding -ísimo(s) or ísima(s) to an adjective. Consider the following examples.
This cake is delicious!
¡Esta torta es riquísima!
I am extremely tired.
That woman over there is really beautiful.
Aquella mujer es bellísima.
The students are extremely busy.
Los estudiantes estan ocupadísimos.
There are several short superlatives that are irregular in their formation and must be memorized. Below we've listed some of the most common.
For Spanish adjectives ending in -ble, the superlative is often formed by changing the base to -bil- and then adding -isimo.
In many cases, in order to turn qualitative adjectives that have an "r" in their last syllable into their superlative adjective form, replace the final -r with -érrimo/-érrima instead of -ísimo/-ísima. Consider the following examples.
When an adjective ends in -n, -dor, or -or, the superlative form is created by simply adding -císimo/císima to the ending. Read and listen to the following examples, then repeat each out loud.
(most inferior/very inferior)