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Good, Nice, Biggest: Get to Know Your Spanish Superlatives


The phrase “superlative” is usually used as an adjective to explain extremely good issues: a superlative pupil who excels in historical past, or a superlative efficiency on Broadway. 

In each English and Spanish grammar, a superlative is an adjective or adverb that amplifies the very best or lowest diploma of comparability. Finally, they assist us categorical our ideas with extra precision. For instance, to precisely describe the great thing about Playa del Carmen in Mexico, most can be tempted to name it not simply “lovely” however the “most lovely” seashore in Mexico. 

Studying Spanish superlatives means that you can place emphasis on the stuff you love most—or the stuff you love least. On this put up, we’ll dive into a variety of superlatives that can be utilized so as to add aptitude to your sentences. Plus, we’ll additionally cowl comparative adjectives, that are useful in describing sure parts as they relate to one another. 

 In the event you’re interested by how one can say “the very best canine,” “the worst buddy,” or “essentially the most lovely seashore” in Spanish, learn on! 

>> Want a primer earlier than leaping in? Get began with primary Spanish phrases and phrases

Are superlatives and comparative adjectives the identical?

To know superlatives, it’s useful to additionally study the perform of comparative adjectives. They’re comparable in that they each depend on comparability, which applies to each English and Spanish grammar. Comparative adjectives in Spanish evaluate two issues, whereas superlatives evaluate three or extra nouns. 

Comparative adjectives in Spanish

Listed here are two examples of comparative adjectives in Spanish:

La playa es más bonita que el bosque. = The seashore is prettier than the forest.

La playa es menos bonita que la montaña. = The seashore is much less fairly than the mountain.

In these examples, we’re evaluating two issues. Within the first, the phrase más bonita que compares la playa (the seashore) and el bosque (the forest). Within the second, menos bonita que compares la playa (the seashore) and la montaña (the mountain).  

Superlatives in Spanish

Alternatively, Spanish superlatives are all about extremes—you’re singling out one thing as being “essentially the most” or “the least” not directly.

We are able to use a superlative to explain one factor basically or inside a gaggle. For instance:

Esta playa es la más bella en el páis entero. = This seashore is essentially the most lovely in the entire nation.

Es la playa más corta. = It’s the shortest seashore.

In each examples, the seashore is excessive not directly. The primary sentence describes this seashore as essentially the most lovely amongst a gaggle (all of the seashores within the nation). Within the second instance, it’s described because the shortest. Discover that when utilizing superlatives, the factors of comparability may be implied, because the size of this seashore doesn’t fall into any specific group. We’ll flesh this level out within the subsequent part. 

Superlatives and comparatives in Spanish each assist us rank issues in keeping with their traits, however it’s essential to recollect how their features differ! 

>>Want a overview? Brush up on 100+ widespread Spanish adjectives.

What’s the distinction between a relative and absolute superlative?

A relative superlative makes a judgment a couple of noun being essentially the most or least in comparison with others in the identical class or group. For instance: 

Mi tía es la persona más alta de mi familia. = My aunt is the tallest particular person in my household

Lima es la ciudad más interesante de Perú. = Lima is the most attention-grabbing metropolis in Peru. 

Alternatively, an absolute superlative exhibits {that a} noun is essentially the most or the least with out making a direct comparability to the rest. You would possibly acknowledge it when you see some examples. It’s the adjective fashioned by including a suffix resembling –ísimo or -ísima.

lindolindísimo

El caballo es lindísimo.

fairly → extraordinarily fairly

The horse is extraordinarily fairly.

cortocortísimo

La película es cortísima.

quick → extraordinarily quick 

The movie is extraordinarily quick.

Let’s have a look at two extra examples to convey all of it collectively. 

To check Carlos to everybody else within the class, we use a relative superlative:

Carlos es el estudiante más inteligente de la clase. = Carlos is the most clever pupil within the class.

Now, let’s say that Carlos is just not solely good in comparison with different college students, however extraordinarily good. Sensible, even. We’d use an absolute superlative like:

Carlos es inteligentísimo. = Carlos is extraordinarily clever.

On this case, we’re not evaluating Carlos to anybody else. We’re giving a standalone judgment that he’s good.

To summarize: You’ll use a relative superlative to explain one noun as “essentially the most” or “the least” in comparison with others in a gaggle. You’ll use an absolute superlative to explain one noun as “essentially the most” or “the least” with out making a direct comparability to the rest.

How do you type Spanish superlatives?

Spanish superlatives observe a easy sample that’s straightforward to decide to reminiscence. Most learners are relieved to listen to that there aren’t many irregular types to recollect! 

Common Spanish superlative adjectives

Observe these easy guidelines to type Spanish superlatives. In all instances, keep in mind that the article and the adjective within the superlative phrase should agree with the gender and quantity (singular or plural) of the noun you’re describing.

To explain one thing as being “essentially the most” in comparison with others, use article + más + adjective + de. For instance:

  • Su escuela es la más nueva del pueblo. = Their faculty is the most recent in the city.
  • Los maestros son los más talentosos de todos. = The academics are essentially the most proficient of all.

To explain one thing as being “the least” in comparison with others, use article + menos + adjective + de. For instance:

  • Los niños pequeños son los menos independientes de la escuela. = The little kids are the least unbiased in the college.
  • Son los menos competitivos de todos, también. = They’re the least aggressive of all, too.

You possibly can drop the de when you’re talking typically and never making a direct comparability inside a gaggle. For instance:

  • Los estudiantes son los más artísticos. = The scholars are essentially the most inventive.
  • Las salas son las más amplias. = The rooms are essentially the most spacious.
  • También son las menos oscuras por las ventanas grandes. = They’re additionally the least darkish due to the massive home windows.

To type an absolute superlative that doesn’t want some extent of comparability, try the principles under. 

If the adjective or adverb ends with a vowel, drop the vowel and add -ísimo:

  • bello → bello → bell- + ísimo → bellísimo
  • delgado delgado delgad- + ísimo → delgadísimo
  • grande grande grand- + ísimo → grandísimo
  • inteligente inteligente inteligent- + ísimo → inteligentísimo

If the adjective or adverb ends with a consonant, simply add -ísimo:

  • widespread → widespread + ísimo → popularísimo
  • superficial → superficial + ísimo → superficialísimo

Irregular Spanish superlative adjectives

There are a number of irregular Spanish superlatives that you just’ll must study. Whereas irregular superlatives aren’t plentiful in Spanish, you’ll use a number of of them—like bueno and malo continuously in dialog. 

  • bueno → mejor good → greatest
  • malo → peor dangerous → worst
  • viejo → mayor previous → oldest (when referring to folks)
  • joven → menor younger → youngest (when referring to folks)
  • grande → mayor large → greatest
  • pequeño → menor small → smallest
Spanish English
el mejor, la mejor, los mejores, las mejores the very best
el peor, la peor, los peores, las mejores the worst
el mayor, la mayor, los mayores, las mayores the oldest (referring to folks) or the most important
el menor, la menor, los menores, las menores the youngest (referring to folks) or the smallest

You’ll discover that some absolute superlatives bear spelling modifications to keep up the pronunciations of the foundation phrases they’re primarily based on. 

  • poco → poco → poqu- + ísimo → poquísimo
  • fresco → fresco → fresqu- + ísimo → fresquísimo
  • cerca → cerca → cerqu- + ísima → cerquísima

Within the examples above, the pronunciation of the c can be gentle, like an s sound, if we simply dropped the final vowel and added -ísimo. The c modifications to qu to keep up the exhausting okay sound of the unique phrase.

Beneath are another examples of irregular absolute Spanish superlative adjectives.

  • joven → jovencísimo younger → extraordinarily younger
  • antiguo → antiquísimo vintage → historic
  • nuevo → novísimo new → extraordinarily new
  • fuerte → fortísimo robust → extraordinarily robust

Simple sufficient, proper? You’ll be capable to beef up your descriptions very quickly. 

Do Spanish superlative adjectives need to agree with the nouns they describe?

Sure! Each Spanish adjective, together with a superlative adjective, has to agree in gender and quantity with the noun it’s describing. 

For instance, contemplate las actrices (the actresses). It’s a female and plural noun. So the superlative adjective that describes las actrices will probably be female and plural, too.

Estas actrices chilenas son talentosísimas. = These Chilean actresses are extraordinarily proficient.

Within the instance under, los actores (the actors) is masculine and plural, so the superlative adjective phrase los más jovenes (the youngest) is masculine and plural, too.

Los actores peruanos son los más jóvenes del competition. = The Peruvian actors are the youngest within the competition.

Grasp Spanish superlatives and past

Spanish superlatives are an important a part of Spanish grammar guidelines, and so they add a component of sophistication to your language abilities. With Spanish superlatives, you’ll be able to elevate your conversations and successfully describe “essentially the most” and “the least” in a gaggle or basically. 

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Written by Laura Skidmore

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