Learn Spanish Superlatives
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A superlative, by definition, is the form of a noun, adjective or adverb that indicates a quality to the extreme, such as saying a man is "really handsome", a car is the "fastest" or a meal is the "most delicious".

Spanish superlatives can be roughly organized into two categories: relative superlatives and absolute superlatives.

Relative Superlatives in Spanish

A relative superlative is used to describe a noun in comparison with a larger group. In English, the relative superlative is formed by using words like "most" (example: most intelligent) and "least" before the adjective or by adding the ending "-est" to the adjective (example: fastest).

  • That's the least expensive shirt in the store.
  • He is the smartest boy in the class.

In Spanish, the relative superlative is formed using the following construction:

definite article + noun + mas/menos + adjective + de

  • Example 1: It is the least expensive shirt in the store.
definite
article
nounmas/menos
(most/least)
adjectivede
(of)
larger group
Eslacamisamenoscaradela tienda.
  • Example 2: He is the smartest student in the class.
definite
article
nounmas/menos
(most/least)
adjectivede
(of)
larger group
Eselestudiantemásinteligentedela clase.

Absolute Superlatives in Spanish

An absolute superlative is used to describe a noun but, unlike a relative superlative, is not used to describe the quality the noun with a larger group. For example: He is

In Spanish, the absolute superlative is formed in one of thee ways, each superlative statement being stronger than the one that precedes it..

  • muy (very) + adjective
    • Es muy grande. = He is very big.
  • sumamente (extremely) + adjective
    • Es sumamente grande. = He is extremely big.
  • adjective + endings -ísimo/-ísima/-ísimos/-ísimas
    • Es grandísimo. = He is extremely, incredibly and unsurpassably big.