We use superlative adjectives when we are comparing one adjective against more than one other adjective. Examples of superlative adjectives:
- Of all animals, the cheetah is the fastest.
- Some people think that English is the most difficult language in the world.
- In my house, I have to get up the earliest because my job starts at 5 a.m.
Syllables and superlative adjectives
To understand the rules for using superlative adjectives, you will need to know the meaning of a syllable.
A syllable is a single sound. For example, ‘goodbye’ has two syllables – ‘good’ and ‘bye’.
Here are some more examples:
|1 syllable words:||hot, cold, dry|
|2 syllable words:||happy, tired|
|3 syllable words:||excited, exhausted|
When making superlative adjectives, there are 6 rules you need to remember:
Superlative adjectives rule 1 of 6:
With adjectives with one syllable, simply add the …..+est
tall > the tallest
fast > the fastest
high > the highest
Superlative adjectives rule 2 of 6:
BUT if the adjective ends in +y, remove the +y and add the …+iest
happy > the happiest
angry > the angriest
busy > the busiest
Superlative adjectives rule 3 of 6:
NOTE: Adjectives that already end in +e only have the …+st added.
nice > the nicest
safe > the safest
late > the latest
Superlative adjectives rule 4 of 6:
We add the most… to words with 3 syllables or more.
intelligent > the most intelligent
beautiful > the most beautiful
interesting > the most interesting
Superlative adjectives rule 5 of 6
Some 2 syllable adjectives have the +est than and some have the most….
Some 2 syllable adjectives can also be used both ways.
NOTE: 2 syllable adjectives that end in -y, -le, and -er often form the superlative by adding +est.
honest > the most honest
clever > the most clever OR the cleverest
modern > the most modern
Superlative adjectives rule 6 of 6:
Adjectives that end with a consonant, then a vowel, then a consonant need the consonant doubled.
big > the biggest (not the bigest)
hot > the hottest (not the hotest)
fat > the fattest (not the fatest)