What is a superlative adjective?

Adjectives are describing words.  The qualities expressed by an adjective are used to describe a noun. 

Superlative adjectives are used to show which noun out of a group of nouns has the most amount of an adjective’s qualities.  Most superlative adjectives end in -est.

  • Roses are pretty.  Tulips are pretty.  Carnations are pretty.
  • I think roses are the prettiest.
  • Stan is six feet six inches tall.  Carl is six feet tall.  Juan is five feet eleven inches tall.
  • Stan is the tallest.  Juan is the shortest.


Adjectives describe nouns.

  1. Ricky is smart.
  2. Gina has a pretty dress.
  3. The Lakers are a good basketball team.
  4. Burgers are delicious.


Comparative adjectives compare two nouns.  They show which noun has more of an adjective’s quality.

  1. Ricky is smarter than me.
  2. Gina has a prettier dress than you.
  3. The Lakers are a better team than the Knicks.
  4. Burgers are more delicious than hot dogs.


Superlative adjectives show which noun is the most of an adjective’s quality.

  1. Ricky is the smartest in the class.
  2. Gina has the prettiest dress at the dance.
  3. The Lakers are the best team in the league.
  4. Burgers are the most delicious food.

How is a superlative adjective formed?

For most one syllable adjectives, form the superlative adjective by adding –est to the base adjective.

Adjective – Superlative

  1. tall – tallest
  2. small – smallest
  3. loud – loudest


  1. She is the tallest girl on the team.
  2. Our club is the smallest club at the school.
  3. It was the loudest movie I have ever seen.

For adjectives that end in a silent e, form the superlative by removing the -e and adding –est.

Adjective – Superlative

  1. nice – nicest
  2. close – closest
  3. gentle – gentlest


  1. Mr. Smith is the nicest teacher in the school.
  2. San Diego is the closest city to me.
  3. Fido was the gentlest dog of the group.

For most one syllable adjectives that end vowel + consonant, form the superlative by doubling the consonant and adding –est.

Adjective – Superlative

  1. big – biggest
  2. fat – fattest
  3. thin – thinnest


  1. Your truck is the biggest truck here.
  2. This is the fattest pig on the farm.
  3. That is the thinnest slice of cheese.

For adjectives that end in a consonant + -y, form the superlative by changing the -y to -i and add -est.

Adjective – Superlative

  1. scary – scariest
  2. heavy – heaviest
  3. deadly – deadliest


  1. That was the scariest movie I have ever seen.
  2. This box full of books was the heaviest.
  3. The jungle snakes are the deadliest.

For two syllable adjectives and all three syllable adjectives, form the superlative by using the word most before the base adjective.

Adjective – Superlative

  1. important – most important
  2. popular – most popular
  3. beautiful – most beautiful


  1. This is the most important test of the year.
  2. It was the most popular song of the night.
  3. She is the most beautiful girl in our class.

Irregular adjectives are words that do not follow the regular rules for their comparative and superlative forms.  Here are the superlative forms for some common irregular adjectives.

Adjective – Superlative

  1. good – best
  2. bad – worst
  3. far – farthest (furthest)
  4. little – least (littlest)
  5. many – most


  1. It was the best movie of the year.
  2. Dave received the worst grade.
  3. Use the farthest door on the left.
  4. My glass is the littlest of the three.
  5. He spent the most money of everyone.

Basic ESL Workbooks

Workbook 1
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Workbook 2
Lessons 16-30 Buy
Workbook 3
Lessons 31-45 Buy