An Introduction To Spanish Superlatives

spanishsuperlatives

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In this post, we are going to teach you how to form the best Spanish superlatives.

(see what we did there?)

So what we do mean why the term superlative?

We can divide superlatives into two groups:

  • Relative Superlative: indicates that something or someone has more or less of a certain quality than a group that we are comparing it to (he ran the fastest of any other person in the race).
  • Absolute Superlative: describes quality in its highest degree, and doesn’t make any comparisons (his girlfriend is very beautiful).

Before we continue, we should mention that superlatives are one of three different types of comparative adjectives that you need to know in Spanish.

The other two are:

1) Comparisons of Equality

When both nouns are exactly the same.

  • My mother is as intelligent as you are – Mi mamá es tan inteligente como tú lo eres.

2) Comparisons of Inequality

When two things, animals or people are not the same.

  • I am taller than you. – Soy más alto que tú.

(ps, you can read more about the other comparative adjectives here)

Now back to Spanish Superlatives.

How to Form Spanish Superlatives

If you already know how to form comparative adjectives, then superlative adjectives are somewhat similar – with the addition of the definite article.

1) Regular Spanish Superlative Adjectives

When we want to talk about the most or least of something.

We simply add the adverbs “more” or “less” (más o menos) between the definite article and the adjective that you want to emphasize.

Here is the formula you need:

Most formula definite article (el, la, los, las) + más + adjective
Least formula definite article (el, la, los, las) + menos + adjective
  • Daniela is the most intelligent girl I’ve ever met. – Daniela es la chica más inteligente que he conocido.
  • My brother is the least prudent person when driving. – Mi hermano es la persona menos prudente al conducir.

2) Irregular Spanish Superlative Adjectives

In Spanish, as in English, there are adjectives that have single-word comparative and superlative forms, such as mejor (best), peor (worst), mayor (oldest, largest, biggest), menor (youngest/smallest).

These are known as irregular, since you don’t use más or menos with them.

Simply use the definite articles and the adjective superlative form.

  • My father is the oldest of his brothers. – Mi padre es el mayor de sus hermanos.
  • This movie is the worst of the entire saga. – Esta película es la peor de toda la saga.
Adjective English Superlative Form English
viejo old mayor oldest
grande big mayor biggest/largest
joven young mayor youngest
pequeño small menor smallest
bueno good mejor best
mal bad peor worst

3) Absolute Spanish Superlatives

Absolute Spanish superlatives help us state the quality of something as an absolute – in other words, we aren’t referring to a quality relative to something or someone else in the group.

To form these, you need to take an adjective and add the words: muy (very), sumamente (extremely), or the suffix “-ísimo(-a, -os, -as)”  in order to express a greater degree of a specific characteristic.

Absolute Spanish Superlatives normally follow one of the three below structures.

Muy  +  Adjective

Examples:

  • Francisco’s dad is a very stubborn person – El de papá de Francisco es una persona muy testaruda
  • She was very upset when she found out the truth – Ella estaba muy molesta cuando descubrió la verdad

Sumamente  +  Adjective

Examples:

  • Poker is a game extremely addictive – El póquer es un juego sumamente adictivo
  • Juan Carlos has become an extremely happy person – Juan Carlos se ha vuelto una persona sumamente feliz

Adjective  +  -ísimo(-a, -os, -as)

Whether they are able to express positive or negative qualities in the sentence. This type of Superlative is also known as Absolute Superlative

Examples:

  • Victoria’s Secret models are gorgeous – Las modelos de Victoria’s Secret son bellísimas
  • I was bored to death at Christmas party – Estaba aburridísimo en la fiesta de navidad
  • The cakes from that bakery are out of this world – Las tortas de esa panadería son buenisimas

Spanish Superlatives: Exercises

Replace the below adjectives with the correct superlative form.

  1. Mi mamá es mujer (+inteligente) en mi familia. – My mother is (+intelligent) woman in my family.
  2. Joe es (-perezoso) cuando trabaja solo. – Joe is (-lazy) when he works alone.
  3. Sus amigos son (+responsables) de la clase de francés. – Her friends are (+responsible) in the French class.
  4. Yo soy (+bueno) profesor de español del mes. – I am (+good) Spanish teacher of the month.
  5. Daniela y yo somos (+amables) en la escuela. – Daniela and I are (+kind) at the school.

Use “-ísimo(-a,-mos,-mas)” suffix to change the bolded adjective into an absolute superlative.

  1. El viaje a Uruguay será divertido. ¡No puedo esperar! – The Uruguay trip will be funny. I can’t wait!
  2. La familia de Martina solía ser rica. Ahora está en bancarrota. – Maritna’s family used to be rich.Now they are broke.
  3. La comida de ese restaurante es mala. No volveré a ir jamás. – The food from this restaurant is bad. I”ll never come back here.
  4. Ángel me dijo que había comprado dos camisas caras, ahora no tiene mucho dinero. – Angel told me that he had bought two expensive shirts, now he doesn’t have much money.
  5. México ofrece muchos paisajes para tomar fotos, además de muchos sitios buenos con comida típica del país. – Mexico offers many landscapes to take pictures, besides there are a lot of good places.

Spanish Superlatives: Answers

  1. Mi mamá es la mujer más inteligente en mi familia. – My mother is the most intelligent woman in my family.
  2. Joe es el menos perezoso cuando trabaja solo. – Joe is the least lazy when he works alone.
  3. Sus amigos son los más responsables de la clase de francés. – Her friends are the most responsible in the French class.
  4. Yo soy el mejor profesor de español del mes. – I am the best Spanish teacher of the month.
  5. Daniela y yo somos los más amables en la escuela. – Daniela and I are the kindest at the school.

Use “-ísimo(-a,-mos,-mas)” suffix to change the bolded adjective into an absolute superlative

  1. El viaje a Uruguay será divertidísimo. ¡No puedo esperar! – The Uruguay trip will be so much fun. I can’t wait!
  2. La familia de Martina solía ser riquísima. Ahora está en bancarrota. – Maritna’s family used to be very rich. Now they are broke.
  3. La comida de ese restaurante es malísima. No volveré a ir jamás. – The food from this restaurant is very bad. I”ll never come back here.
  4. Ángel me dijo que había comprado dos camisas carísimas, ahora no tiene mucho dinero. – Angel told me that he had bought two very expensive shirts, now he doesn’t have much money.
  5. México ofrece muchos paisajes para tomar fotos, además de muchos sitios buenísimos con comida típica del país. – Mexico offers many landscapes to take pictures, besides there are a lot of very good places.

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