Superlatives
You just finished doing comparatives. Now you’re
going to do superlatives.
In English, we have what we call the
positive form,
tall
gorgeous
the comparative form,
taller more gorgeous
and the superlative form. tallest most gorgeous
Spanish doesn’t have that, exactly, but if you just
think of “más” as meaning both “more” AND
“most,” both the comparative and superlative are
very similar to English.
The comparative is for when you’re talking about two people or
things:
Addison is more beautiful than Meredith.
Addison es más hermosa que Meredith.
The superlative is for when you’re talking about three or more
people or things:
Addison is the most beautiful of all.
Addison es la más hermosa de todas.
As you can see, if you use “most” rather than “-est” (which, like
“-er,” doesn’t exist in Spanish), the word order is identical to
English:
Addison is the most beautiful of all.
Addison es la más hermosa de todas.
However, you need to note that if you put a noun in the
superlative expression, it will come BEFORE “más + adjective.”
Addison is the most beautiful woman of all.
Addison es la mujer más hermosa de todas.
But that should be no surprise, since, as you learned in chapter 2,
adjectives normally come after the noun they describe:
noun
adjective
Addison es una mujer hermosa.
Click here to go to a brief practice
exercise. When you’re done with the first
one (there’s only one problem per page),
click on the arrow to go to the next. There
are five problems total.
That was “superlatives for dummies.” Click
here to go to a more challenging exercise.
OK, one more thing. You don’t have a problem with
Addison es la más hermosa de todas.
But what about
Addison es la más hermosa del mundo.
Literally, that translates
Addison is the most beautiful OF the world.
We, of course, would say
Addison is the most beautiful IN the world.
But in Spanish, you have to say “de”:
Juan es el hombre más alto de la ciudad.
Juan is the tallest man in the city.
Elisa es la más bonita de la clase.
Elisa is the prettiest in the class.
Antonio y Carlos son los más gordos de Georgia.
Antonio and Carlos are the fattest in Georgia.
So there are three (little) things that make the superlative in Spanish different
from the superlative in English:
1. The fact that you always have to use “most” and not something like “-est”
that you can put on the end of the adjective:
Bill Gates es el más rico de nuestro país.
Bill Gates is the richest in our country.
2.
The fact that you have to put the noun BEFORE “más + adjective”:
Bill Gates es el hombre más rico de nuestro país.
Bill Gates is the richest man in our country.
3.
The fact that you have to say “de” in Spanish where we usually say “in”
in English:
Bill Gates es el más rico de nuestro país.
Bill Gates is the richest in our country.
Watch out for the irregulars!
Remember mejor, peor, mayor, menor?
Since they mean better, worse, older, younger,
they also mean best, worst, oldest, youngest.
Juan es el mejor estudiante de la clase.
Juan is the best student in the class.
Juan es el peor estudiante de la clase.
Juan is the worst student in the class.
Juan es el mayor estudiante de la clase.
Juan is the oldest student in the class.
Juan es el menor estudiante de la clase.
Juan is the youngest student in the class.
Click here to go to your homework.
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Superlatives - Gordon State College