2022-01-24 ศัพท์ น่าสับสน - Set – C – comparative & superlative


Revision C

2022-01-24

ศัพท์ น่าสับสน - Set – C – comparative & superlative

แนะนำการใช้ ตามที่ส่วนใหญ่ใช้ แต่ละท้องถิ่น 

ความหมาย อาจผันแปร ตาม ตำแหน่ง/หน้าที่ ในประโยค

 

Dictionary.com:

ออกเสียง comparative = “kuhm-PAR-uh-tiv”

ออกเสียง superlative = “suh-PUR-luh tiv” or “soo-PUR---"

 

The A-Z of Correct English Common Errors in English Dictionary:

comparative & superlative

(i) Use the comparative form of adjectives and adverbs 

    when comparing two:

          John is TALLER than Tom. 

          John works MORE ENERGETICALLY than Tom. 

      Use the superlative form when comparing three or more

           John is the TALLEST of all the engineers. 

           John works THE MOST ENERGETICALLY of all the engineers. 

(ii) There are two ways of forming 

     the comparative and superlative of adjectives

     (a) Add -er and -est to short adjectives: 

               tall              taller           tallest 

               happy         happier       happiest 

 

     (b) Use more and most with longer adjectives: 

             dangerous            more dangerous           most dangerous 

             successful            more successful            most successful 

          The comparative and superlative forms of adverbs 

          are formed in exactly the same way

 

     (c) Short adverbs add -er and -est

             You run FASTER thando. 

             He runs the FASTEST of us all. 

 

     (d) Use more and most with longer adverbs

             Nikki works MORE CONSCIENTIOUSLY than Sarah. 

             Niamh works THE MOST CONSCIENTIOUSLY of them all. 

 

(iii) There are threeirregular adjectives

                   good          better         best 

                  bad             worse         worst

                 many          more           most 

 

     There are four irregular adverbs

                well             better         best 

                badly          worse         worst 

               much          more           most 

               little            less             least 

 

(iv)     A very common error is to mix the two 

          methods of forming the comparative and the superlative

               more simpler                 simpler 

               more easiest                  easiest 

 

(v)      Another pitfall is to try to form 

          the comparative and superlative of absolute words 

          like perfect, unique, excellent, complete, ideal. 

Dictionary.com:

Something is either perfect or it isn’t

It can’t be more perfect or less perfect,

or most perfect or least perfect.

 

Dictionary.com:

What Are Comparative Adjectives And How Do You Use Them?

Published July 15, 2021

If you’re a grammar pro

you already know that adjectives are words 

that we use to modify and describe nouns and pronouns.

 

Words like hotfastgreen, and indestructible are examples of adjectives

There are many different types of adjectives out there 

that we can use in our sentences.

 

Comparative adjectives are a special kind of adjective 

that we use when we want to compare one thing to another

For example

we can say that a banana is a healthier food than a cupcake

because it better exemplifies the qualities of the adjective healthy. 

This sounds great so far

but comparative adjectives are even more useful than you might think

Read on to learn more!

 

What is a comparative adjective?

comparative adjective is an adjective 

used to compare two people or things. 

 

We use comparative adjectives 

to say that one person or thing demonstrates a high degree of a quality 

or is a better example of a quality than the other

Words like tallersmarter, and slower 

are examples of comparative adjectives.

 

Let’s illustrate 

how we use comparative adjectives with a hypothetical

you have metal blocks in front of you. 

The left block weighs 10 pounds and the right block weighs 20 pounds. 

Because the right block weighs more than the left block

we would say that the right block is heavier than the left block

 

On the other hand, 

we could also say that the left block is lighter than the right block

We are using comparative adjectives to compare the blocks to each other by indicating which one has a more extreme degree of a certain quality (heaviness or lightness).

 

A comparative adjective is formed from 

the positive formof an adjective, 

which is the form of an adjective 

you will find if you look it up in our incredible dictionary

 

The adjectives bravefast, and cute 

are adjectives in the positive form, for example.

 

Here are the rules 

for forming comparatives from a positive form of the adjective

  • Most one-syllable  adjectives: Add -er to the end

For example, clear becomes clearer

If the adjective ends in -e, just add -r.

Forexample, free becomes freer.

If the adjective ends in -y, 

you sometimes replace the -y with an -i before adding -er. 

For example, dry becomes drier 

but shy becomes either shier or shyer.

  • One-syllable adjectives that end in consonant-vowel-consonant: 

Double the final consonant before adding -er

For example, big becomes bigger 

and wet becomes wetter.

  • Two-syllable adjectives that end in Y: 

Drop the -y, replace it with an -iand then add -er. 

For example, rainy becomes rainier 

and ugly becomes uglier.

  • Two-syllable adjectives that end in -er-le, or -ow

Add -er to the end

For example, narrow becomes narrower 

and simple becomes simpler.

  • All other adjectives that are two syllables or longer: 

Add the word more or less to the positive form

For example, acceptable becomes more acceptable 

and unmanageable becomes less unmanageable.

 

There are a few adjectives that are exceptions to the above rules

For example

the adjectives quietnarrow, and clever 

can use either the -er or the more/less forms.

However, we never use both forms at the same time

For example you wouldn’t say someone is “less cleverer.”

 

Additionally, there are some adjectives that are irregular

These include goodwellbadfar, and old

Their comparative forms are: 

  • good and well  better
  • bad → worse 

(Note: The word badder is sometimes used as a slang 

or nonstandardcomparative form of bad.)

  • far →Some style guides may say that farther is preferred 

for physical distance and further is preferred for figurative distance. 

 

However, these words are often used interchangeably 

in everyday speech and writing.

  • old → Most of the time, old behaves as a regular adjective

and its comparative form is older. 

 

However, when discussing the ages of people

the word elder is sometimes used as the comparative form of old 

as in 

The elder kitten had darker fur than the younger one.

In general, though, elder is not as commonly used, 

and many speakers and writers will use the word older 

even when referring to people.


When we use comparative adjectives in sentences, 

we often use them together with the word than 

in order to connect the two people or things we are comparing

For example, we sayThis soup is hotter than that one 

and not This soup is hotter that one.

 

It is entirely possible not to use than 

with a comparative adjectivethough, 

as in This house is big, but the one down the road is even bigger

The important thing is that you make it clear 

what exactly you’re comparing when using a comparative adjective.

 

List of comparative adjectives

As long as it makes sense

to use an adjective to compare two things

any positive form adjective can be turned into a comparative adjective

 

The following list gives just a sample of words 

we use as comparative adjectives

  • angrier, busier, cooler, dustier, more energetic, friendlier, less gruesome, happier, more interesting, less jarring, kinder, leaner, meaner, nicer, less obstructive, prettier, more questionable, redder, less sincere, more talented, less ungrateful, vaster, wiser, younger, zestier

 

Where do you include a comparative adjective in a sentence?

Comparative adjectives can be placed

either immediately before the noun or pronoun they modify 

or can be used as a subject complement together with a linking verb 

(such as be or seem). 

  • I replaced my old computer with a newer one.
  • Rachel looked at the two dresses and decided to buy the more expensive one.
  • The company claims that their next car will be faster and safer.
  • Kids today are a lot more independent than they were just a decade ago.

 

Comparative adjective examples in a sentence

Let’s look at examples of comparative adjectives used in sentences

In each example, the comparative adjective is in bold.

 

Comparative adjectives using -er 

In the following sentences

the comparative adjectives all use the -er form.  

  • My employees are all younger than me.
  • We moved from a big city to a smaller town.
  • Erica will need to get faster if she wants to win the big race.
  • When learning a new language, it is best to start with simple words before learning harder ones.

 

Comparative adjectives using more 

Longer adjectives use the words more and less 

when used as comparative adjectives

We use the word more to say that something demonstrates 

a higher degree of a quality than something else

  • The end of the book is more interesting than the beginning.
  • Out of the two houses, the mansion is definitely more spacious than the cottage.
  • Generally speaking, cats tend to be more independent than dogs.
  • They added gold-plated cup holders to the limo to make it feel more luxurious.

 

Comparative adjectives using less 

When using longer comparative adjectives, 

we use the word less to describe a noun or pronoun 

as having the lower extreme of a quality when comparing two things. 

  • The merry-go-round is a less intense ride than the rollercoaster.
  • We left the shopping mall to try and find a less crowded place to hang out.
  • She retired from acting to live a less glamorous life in the countryside.
  • Ted quit his job as a waiter because he wanted to pursue a less demanding career.

 

Irregular comparative adjectives

The adjectives goodwellbadold, and far 

have irregular comparative forms. 

Let’s look at how we use them in sentences

Pay special attention to how the comparative form of

far may change depending on its meaning

  • The barber did a much better job cutting my daughter’s hair than I did.
  • Julie was sick yesterday, but she is feeling better today.
  • Not doing your homework is bad, but copying someone else’s is even worse.
  • Diego is Matt’s elder brother.
  • The post office is further/farther away from my house than the supermarket is.

Sometimes, 

the word badder is used as a slang comparative form of bad. 

For the most part, 

the word worse is preferred in formal writing or speech

  • The small spiders don’t bother me. But you’ve really got to watch out for the biggerbadder monsters.

 

Comparative adjective rules & best practices

Like many other types of adjectives,

 you can use comparative adjectives both immediately

before nouns/pronouns or as subject complements

It is even possible to use multiple comparative adjectives 

to describe the same noun/pronoun:  

  • I threw out my old laptop and bought a newerbetter one.
  • Compared to zebras, horses are largergentler, and friendlier.
  • She didn’t buy the hat because she needed one that was flashier and more memorable.

 

There are a few grammatical rules you need to remember 

when using comparative adjectives, however. 

Most of these rules determine 

when we should use a comparative adjective 

and when we use a superlative adjective.

1. Comparative adjectives are only used to compare two people or things. If you are comparing more than two things or people

you must use a superlative adjective.

❌ Incorrect: When comparing the sizes of birds, ostriches are clearly the larger of them all.
✅ Correct: When comparing the sizes of birds, ostriches are clearly the largest of them all.

 

You need to be careful

because sometimes 

a group is collectively referred to as a single “thing” in a comparison. 

For example, if you are comparing apples to oranges

you are only comparing two things 

even though the words apples and oranges refer to many fruits.

❌ Incorrect: Mortimer is richest than everyone else in town combined.
✅ Correct: Mortimer is richer than everyone else in town combined.

You also need to be careful 

when a sentence uses a conjunction.

Often, a conjunction is used to link multiple comparisons together. 

If you are comparing two things multiple times

you should still use comparative adjectives.

✅ Correct: Abby is taller than Bill. (Abby’s height is a bigger measurement than Bill’s.)
✅ Also correct: Abby is taller than Bill and Charlie.

(The conjunction and is linking two different comparisons: 

Abby’s height is a bigger number than Bill’s, 

and Abby’s height is a bigger number than Charlie’s, too. )

 

If you are comparing something 

to every other member of its group 

or saying that something has the highest 

or most extreme degree in general, 

use a superlative adjective and not a comparative adjective:

❌ Incorrect: Out of all of the animals in the zoo, the cheetahs are the faster.
✅ Correct: Out of all of the animals in the zoo, the cheetahs are the fastest.

 

2. When using comparative adjectives, 

it is grammatically incorrect to use both the -er ending 

and the word more/less at the same time. 

You must use an adjective’s correct comparative form. 

If an adjective can use either, you must only choose one.

❌ Incorrect: Chocolate ice cream is more tastier than vanilla ice cream.
✅ Correct: Chocolate ice cream is tastier than vanilla ice cream.

❌ Incorrect: She is more cleverer than she looks.
✅ Correct: She is cleverer than she looks or She is more clever than she looks.

 

3. Unless it is acting as a subject complement 

together with a linking verb

a comparative adjective is usually preceded 

by an article or possessive.

❌ Incorrect: Of these two movies, I prefer shorter one.
✅ Correct: Of these two movies, I prefer the shorter one.

❌ Incorrect: She traded in her old car for newer one.
✅ Correct: She traded in her old car for a newer one.

 Incorrect: Harry is younger brother.
✅ Correct: Harry is William’s younger brother.

 

Dictionary.com:

Understanding Comparative And Superlative Adjectives

Published July 19, 2021

When we describe the things around us, we often make comparisons. 

For example, a lion is a big cat. 

When we see a rhino sitting next to a lion, 

we might say that the rhino is bigger than the lion due to its size. 

Later on during our safari, we see an elephant, 

and we know that it is the biggest animal 

we are likely to see due to its massive size.

If you’re the king of the grammar jungle, 

you already know that we use adjectives 

like the words bigbigger, and biggest 

to modify and describe nouns and pronouns

 

When we make comparisons

we use special types of adjectives 

called comparative adjectives and superlative adjectives

 

But what is the difference between these two

Is one better than the other? 

And which kind of adjective is best to use in our sentences? 

We can’t settle this adjective popularity contest right now 

but we can compare these two types of adjectives 

to learn when and how to use them.

 

Comparative adjective vs. superlative adjective

Both comparative adjectives and superlative adjectives 

are formed from the positive form of an adjective 

(the “basic” form you’ll see if you look up an adjective in our amazing dictionary). 

 

In general, comparative adjectives end in -er 

or use the words more or less,

while superlative adjectives end in -est 

or use the words most and least.

For example

smaller is a comparative adjective 

and smallest is a superlative adjective. 

As another example

more determined is a comparative adjective 

and most determined is a superlative adjective.

Both of these types of adjectives are used 

in comparisons of people and/or things. 

 

Comparative adjectives are used to compare two people or things 

and superlative adjectives are used to compare more than two people or things. 

For example: 

  • My house is bigger than her house. (comparing two things)
  • Out of the 30 houses in the neighborhood, Reginald’s is the biggest. (comparing more than two things)
  • Maya is younger than Ben. (comparing two people)
  • Maya is the youngest student in the class of 20. (comparing more than two people)

 

We will explore more specific ways 

that we use comparative and superlative adjectives later, 

but this is the main difference to keep in mind 

between these two types of adjectives.

 

Comparative adjective

Let’s first take a look at examples of comparative adjectives 

and how we use them in sentences.

 

List of comparative adjectives

As long as it makes sense to compare a certain quality, 

almost any positive form adjective can become a comparative adjective. 

Listed below are just some examples of comparative adjectives: 

  • angstier, more beautiful, less careful, darker, easier, faster, grumpier, hotter, icier, more jumbled, less knowledgeable, looser, messier, nicer, odder, more pleasing, less questionable, redder, spookier, tinier, uglier, vaster, wobblier, younger, zestier

 

Examples of comparative adjectives in a sentence

In the following sentences, the comparative adjective is in bold. 

  • The weather is cloudier today than it was yesterday.
  • My car is nice, but hers is much nicer.
  • For many students, learning calculus is significantly harder than learning algebra.
  • Ishan is my younger brother.
  • A feather is lighter than a bowling ball.

 

Superlative adjective

Now, let’s look at examples of superlative adjectives 

and how we use them in sentences.

 

List of superlative adjectives

Just like comparative adjectives, 

superlative adjectives can be formed 

from almost any positive form adjective 

as long as it makes sense to compare the quality 

that the adjective is referring to. 

You can see this is in the following examples 

that are based on the same positive form adjectives 

that we used to form comparative adjectives earlier: 

  • angstiest, most beautiful, least careful, darkest, easiest, fastest, grumpiest, hottest, iciest, most jumbled, least knowledgeable, loosest, messiest, nicest, oddest, most pleasing, least questionable, reddest, spookiest, tiniest, ugliest, vastest, wobbliest, youngest, zestiest

 

Examples of superlative adjectives in a sentence

In the following sentences, the superlative adjective is written in bold. 

  • When you compare cheetahs, lions, and tigers, the cheetahs are clearly the fastest.
  • Out of the 50 books I own, this one is the longest.
  • In my opinion, George Washington was America’s greatest president.
  • My yard is big, Mike’s is bigger, and Felicia’s is the biggest of the three.
  • I have had a lot of dumb ideas, but my plan to open a shark nursery was by far the dumbest.

 

Irregular adjectives

There are some adjectives that act differently 

when it comes to using them as comparative and superlative adjectives.

Some adjectives can use either the -er or -est ending 

or the words more/most/less/least.

Some examples include the adjectives quietnarrowclever, and yellow

 

When using these adjectives, 

either method is acceptable but you must not use both at the same time. For example, 

a motor can be said to be quieter or more quiet but not “more quieter.”

A few adjectives just don’t follow the rules at all. 

These include the words goodwellbadold, and far

 

Listed below are the comparative and superlative forms of these irregular adjectives: 

  • good and well  better (comparative) and best (superlative)
  • bad  worse (comparative) and worst (superlative). Sometimes, the words badder and baddest are used as slang or nonstandard comparative and superlative forms of bad.
  • old  For the most part, the words older and oldest are used as the comparative and superlative forms of old. However, some style guides may prefer to use the words elder and eldest when comparing the ages of people. In general speech and writing, though, the words older and oldest are commonly used even when referring to people.
  • far  farther/further (comparative) and farthest/furthest (superlative). Style guides will often state that it is preferred to use farther/farthest when referring to physical distances and further/furthest when referring to figurative distances. However, this distinction is usually ignored in everyday speech and writing, and these words are commonly used interchangeably.

 

When to use comparative and superlative adjectives?

As stated earlier, 

the general rule is that 

we use comparative adjectives to compare two people or things 

and superlative adjectives to compare more than two peopler things: 

  • A husky is larger than a Chihuahua. (comparing two things)
  • The husky was the largest of the 10 dogs at the park. (comparing more than two things)

If something or someone is generally being compared 

to every other member of their group, we use a superlative adjective: 

  • The tower was the largest building that the company ever built.
  • Out of all of the meats, I think pepperoni is the yummiest.

 

You need to be careful with plural nouns or words/phrases 

that are collectively referring to a group as a single entity. 

Even if a word is referring to multiple people or things, 

we still use a comparative adjective 

if we are comparing exactly two distinct items, groups, or categories. 

For example

  • I think that apples are tastier than oranges. (In this sentence, 

the words apples and oranges are used to refer to types of fruit. Because we are still comparing exactly two things, we use a comparative adjective.)

  • Alaska is larger than many European countries. 

(In this sentence, 

the phrase many European countries is treated as one single collective group. 

Even though Alaska is being compared to multiple countries, 

we are still grammatically only comparing two distinct things 

and so we use a comparative adjective.)

 

You also need to watch out for sentences that use conjunctions. 

Often, conjunctions are used to link multiple comparisons together. 

Even in this case, we often still use a comparative conjunction. 

For example, 

  • Angela is shorter than Bob, Clint, and Hana.

 

Why do we use a comparative adjective in the above sentence 

even though we are clearly talking about more than two people? 

Take a second to read the sentence again and look closely 

at what it is actually saying. 

This sentence uses the conjunction 

and to link three different comparisons together: 

rather than comparing the four people to each other, 

we are actually comparing Angela to one other person three times. 

If we wanted to use a superlative adjective instead, 

we could rewrite the sentence without using a conjunction 

so that we compare all four people to each other: 

  • Angela is the shortest person out of her circle of friends, which includes herself, Bob, Clint, and Hana.

 

One last thing to keep in mind is that 

you might see comparative and superlative adjectives 

used interchangeably in idiomatic expressions. 

For example, look at the following two sentences: 

  • A hippo is one of the largest animals you will find in the savannah.
  • A hippo is one of the larger animals you will find in the savannah.

 

Do they sound right to you? 

Probably! And yet, grammatically, 

the first is considered a nonstandard use 

because it isn’t possible for there to be multiple “largest animals.” 

Either a group of animals is the largest or it isn’t. 

However, you are likely to see sentences similar to 

the first example used both in writing and speech. 

It has the exact same meaning as the second sentence, 

but it stylistically places a greater emphasis on the size 

and bulk of a hippo than the second sentence does.

 

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Dictionary.com:

What Are Superlative Adjectives And How Do You Use Them?

Published July 12, 2021

Adjectives describe and modify nouns and pronouns.

The words smartfunnyhappy, and outrageous 

are all examples of adjectives. 

Sometimes, however, these adjectives on their own are not enough. 

You might want to say that a joke is not only funny

but also so funny that no other joke can live up to it. 

Or you might need to say a shoe smells so bad 

that its stench dominates every other stinky smell.

 

While there are many different types of adjectives

there is one in particular that can help you in these situations: the superlative adjective

By using superlative adjectives,

 you can say that joke was the funniest one you ever heard 

or that smelly shoe has the worst stench in history. 

So if you want to be one of the greatest grammarians out there 

(and oh boy, do you!), 

keep reading to learn more about superlative adjectives.

 

What is a superlative adjective?

superlative adjective is an adjective used in comparisons 

to describe something as being of the highest degree or extreme. 

 

We use superlative adjectives when making comparisons of three 

or more people or things.

The words biggest and fastest are examples of superlative adjectives.

The word superlative has other uses outside of grammar. 

As an adjective, superlative is used to mean something is the best or highest of its kind, surpasses all others, or is excellent. 

For example, 

superlative cheeseburger would be a cheeseburger that is extremely delicious or is very high quality. 

 

Superlative is also used as a noun, which we will explore more later.

To explain how we use superlative adjectives, 

let’s say we have three sticks that measure one foot, two feet, and three feet long. 

Of these three, the one that is three feet long can be described as the longest stick because it wins the contest of length. 

At the same time, the one-foot stick is the shortest as it would win a shortness competition.

 

A superlative adjective is formed from the positive form of an adjective, which is the initial form of an adjective you will find if you look one up in our fantastic dictionary.

The adjectives smartkind, and slow are adjectives that are in the positive form, for example. 

The other form—the form between the positive and superlative and marked by –er or more—is known as a comparative adjective. 

At our entry for an adjective, you will also see noted what an adjective’s comparative and superlative forms are.

 

Here are the general rules for forming superlatives from a positive form adjective: 

  • Most one-syllable adjectives: Add -est to the end. 

For example, warm becomes warmest

If the adjective ends in -e, just add -st.  

For example, vile becomes vilest. If the adjective ends in -y, you sometimes replace the -y with an -i before adding -est

For example, dry becomes driest but sly can be either slyest or sliest.

  • One-syllable adjectives that end in consonant-vowel-consonant: 
  • Double the final consonant before adding -est

For example, hot becomes hottest and sad becomes saddest.

  • Two-syllable adjectives that end in Y: 

Drop the -y, replace it with an -i, and then add -est. For example, silly becomes silliest and funny becomes funniest.

  • Two-syllable adjectives that end in -er-le, or -owAdd -est to the end. 

For xample, narrow becomes narrowest and clever becomes cleverest.

  • All other adjectives that are two syllables or longer: 

Add the word most or least to the positive form. 

For example, energetic becomes most or least energetic and unbelievable becomes most or least unbelievable.

 

Note, though, that some adjectives may have more than

 one acceptable way to form its superlative (e.g., most fun and funnest).

When we use superlative adjectives in sentences, 

we often precede them with the word the

For example, we would say I want to hug the cutest kitten rather than I want to hug cutest kitten or I want to hug a cutest kitten.

However, if we are comparing something to itself, we may not use the word the

For example:  

  • Bears are hungriest when waking up from hibernation.

 

We also may not use the 

if we use a possessive adjective or possessive noun instead. 

For example

  • This essay was my longest one yet.
  • Out of all of her paintings, I think this one is Diana’s best work.

 

List of superlative adjectives

As long as it makes sense to compare more than two people or things, almost any adjective can be used as a superlative adjective. 

Here are just some examples of superlative adjectives

  • angriest, most boring, coolest, darkest, least entertaining, fattest, goofiest, hungriest, iciest, jolliest, laziest, most miserable, nicest, most overrated, purplest, quickest, rudest, smallest, tiniest, ugliest, least visible, widest, youngest, zestiest

 

Where do you include a superlative adjective in a sentence?

Superlative adjectives can be used either directly before the noun or pronoun they modify 

or can be used as a subject complement that is connected to a noun/pronoun with a linking verb (such as be or seem). 

In either case, we almost always put the word the (or a possessive) in front of them. 

For example: 

  • That was the scariest movie that I ever saw.
  • Out of every movie I have seen, that one was the scariest.

 

What does the noun superlatives mean?

In everyday life and popular culture, 

the word superlatives is often used 

to refer to titles or phrases used to describe a person. 

For example

many high school yearbooks often feature “senior superlatives” that describe a person’s personality or qualities, sometimes in a humorous or tongue-in-cheek way. 

 

These often take the form of phrases such as “Most Likely to Succeed,” “Best Smile,” or “Cutest Couple” that actually use superlative adjectives. 

However, these superlatives may not always use superlative adjectives, 

such as “Class Clown” or “Future Millionaire.” 

Still, the word superlative is used as a noun to refer to these labels.

 

More generally, 

the word superlative may be used as a noun to mean a superlative adjective. 

For example

an angry boss may say that they can think of a few choice superlatives to describe their best employee. 

These could include words such as fastestmost creative, or other superlative superlatives.

 

Superlatives adjective examples in a sentence

Let’s look at different examples of superlative adjectives used in sentences.

Superlative adjectives using -est

 

The following example sentences show superlative adjectives 

that use the -est form. 

  • Becky is the smartest student in the class.
  • I think that Abraham Lincoln was our greatest president.
  • If you are looking for good pizza, Luigi’s restaurant has the tastiest in town.
  • Out of all my pets, my old cat Nala is the loudest.

 

Superlative adjectives using most 

Longer adjectives generally use the words most and least 

when used as superlative adjectives. 

We use the word most to say that something demonstrates 

the highest degree or is the most extreme out of all options. 

  • I think that the park downtown has the most exciting roller coasters.
  • This might be the most interesting book I have ever read.
  • Try each of these cakes and tell me which one is the most delicious.
  • Todd was wearing the most ridiculous costume at the Halloween party.

 

Superlative adjectives using least 

When using longer superlative adjectives, 

we use the word least to describe/e a noun or pronoun 

as having the lowest extreme of a quality 

or being most lacking in a particular quality. 

  • I need to find the least uncomfortable sweater in my closet.
  • We are looking for the least expensive apartment in the area.
  • When you consider all of the insects in our garden, the ladybugs have been the least destructive.
  • The coffee shops are our least profitable businesses.

 

Irregular superlative adjectives

The adjectives goodbadwellold, and far have irregular superlative forms. Let’s look at how we use them in sentences.

Pay special attention to how the superlative form of far may change depending on its meaning.  

  • It is important to use the best tool for the job.
  • Stephanie is not feeling at her best today.
  • That might just be the worst idea I have ever heard.
  • My eldest son became a stock broker.
  • Thanks to her intense training, Ana managed to sprint the farthest out of all of the racers in the given time.
  • We searched the furthest ends of the Earth for the missing wallet.

 

Sometimes, the word baddest is used as a slang superlative form of bad. For the most part, baddest is not used in formal writing or speech. 

  • The famous boxer Mike Tyson was once known as “The Baddest Man on the Planet.”

 

Superlative adjective rules & best practices

Like many other types of adjectives, 

you can use superlative adjectives both immediately before nouns/pronouns or as subject complements. 

It is even possible to use multiple superlative adjectives 

to describe the same noun/pronoun:  

  • This is the spiciestyummiest soup I have had yet.
  • Out of all of the monsters, the zombie is both the slowest and the stinkiest.
  • Mittens is the cutestmost adorable kitten alive.

 

There are a few grammatical rules you need to remember 

when using superlative adjectives, however.

1. Superlative adjectives are only used 

to compare more than two people or things. 

When comparing exactly two people or things, 

we instead use comparative adjectives. 

For example:

❌ Incorrect: Cheetahs are fastest than turtles.
✅ Correct: Cheetahs are faster than turtles.

 

If you are comparing something to every other member of its group 

or saying that something has the highest or most extreme degree in general, we use a superlative adjective:

❌ Incorrect: Out of all of the animals in the zoo, the cheetahs are the faster.
✅ Correct: Out of all of the animals in the zoo, the cheetahs are the fastest.

 

2.      When using superlative adjectives, 

it is considered nonstandard to use both the -est ending 

and the word most or least at the same time. 

You should generally use an adjective’s standard superlative form, although sometimes people may intentionally break the rules for comedic or rhetorical effect. 

If an adjective can use either, you should consistently use one form:

❌ Incorrect: Ice cream is the most tastiest food.
✅ Correct: Ice cream is the tastiest food.

❌ Incorrect: Equality is our most preferredest outcome.
✅ Correct: Equality is our most preferred outcome.

❌ Incorrect: I need to find the most quietest room in the house.
✅ Correct: I need to find the quietest room in the house or I need to find the most quiet room in the house.

 

3.      In general, we use the word the or a possessive word 

( such as myher, Xavier’s) in front of a superlative adjective 

unless we are comparing something to itself.

❌ Incorrect: He sat under tallest tree.
✅ Correct: He sat under the tallest tree.

❌ Incorrect: Math is most hated class.
✅ Correct: Math is Edward’s most hated class.

✅ Correct: In my experience, cats are the grouchiest when their sleep is interrupted
✅ Correct: In my experience, cats are grouchiest when their sleep is interrupted.

 

One final thing to keep in mind is that 

the words most and least are not only used in superlative adjective forms. 

Most and least have a variety of meanings, 

so don’t assume a sentence has a superlative adjective 

just because you see the word most or least

For example, the sentence 

The detectives were fascinated by a most puzzling case uses most as an adverb to modify the adjective puzzling

However, puzzling is NOT a superlative adjective in this sentence.

 

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Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Superlative

Did you know?

Superlative may sound high-flown 

when compared with a synonym like outstanding

but if your next paper comes back from your teacher with the comment "Superlative work!" at the top you probably won't complain. Since superlative means "best, greatest", 

it makes sense that superlative is also a term used in grammar for the highest degree of comparison. 

So for the adjective simple, for example, the comparative form is simpler and the superlative form is simplest

and for the adverb boldly, the comparative form is more boldly and the superlative is most boldly.

 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Usage Notes

Can You Use a Superlative of Two?

Explaining the "best" of two

What to Know

Adjectives often have three forms

the positive (big), the comparative (bigger), and the superlative (biggest). 

 

Some grammar guides suggest that the superlative can only be used 

when there are three or more choices, 

but centuries of usage suggest that 

the superlative form has been used to describe sets of two for much longer.

If you want to use an adjective in English, 

there are a number of ways this may be done.

 

One choice is to use the adjective in its positive form, 

that is, unmodified and uninflected: "this show is funny." 

Or, if you wish to denote an increase in the quality, quantity, 

or relation of the adjective, you might use the comparative form:

"this show is funnier."

Or you can, if circumstances warrant, 

take the degree of comparison to an extreme or unsurpassed level 

and use the superlative: "this show is funniest."

 

This may seem like a simple enough matter, 

but, as is so often the case when we look a little closer, 

someone has found a way to make it less simple. 

For instance

there is the question of 

whether one can use the superlative form of an adjective 

in reference to a group of two things (the superlative two!), 

or whether this usage necessitates three or more options.

 

Does the Superlative Need Three Options?

This is an issue because in the second half of the 18th century some grammarians decided that it was unwholesome to use the superlative two; they concluded that 

one should say that something was the better of the two, and not the best.

The first author to warn against such use (Joseph Priestley) 

allowed that it wasn’t that big a deal (“a very pardonable oversight”), 

but by the end of the 18th century this idea was being written about 

as a rule, rather than a suggestion

 

The fact that using superlatives of two was something 

that was quite common in English at that point, 

and had been for over a hundred years, seemed to matter little, 

if at all, to these grammarians.

 

In spite of continuous and widespread use, 

and occasional protests by people who studied language, 

the prohibition on the superlative of two has remained something 

that usage guides warn against. 

Our Dictionary of English Usage refers to this 

as “a perfect shibboleth, serving no practical function 

except to separate those who observe the rule from those who do not.”

 

You may, if you wish, refer to something 

as the best of the pair, rather than the better, 

and rest secure in the knowledge that 

the only rules you are violating are those of usage (read: opinions), 

and not of grammar (the structure of the language). 

 

Bear in mind that 

this use will quite possibly annoy some portion of your audience, 

but it doesn't hurt to go with the option that you think works best.

 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Usage Notes

Are 'Stupider' and 'Stupidest' Real Words?

Some smart advice on modifying adjectives

What to Know

Stupider and stupidest are real words in good standing. 

While there are many (contradictory) rules 

on comparative and superlative adjectives, 

there is no rule against stupider and stupidest,

and the words have a long history of usage.

 

If we wished to describe a fellow who had made a bet 

that he could eat a series of exceptionally hot peppers 

we might refer to him as rashrasher than most, 

or the rashest person we knew. 

We might also say that he is more foolhardy

or the most foolhardy person we have seen. 

 

But what if we want to describe him as stupid?

Would he be more stupid or stupider

Welcome to another episode of Usage Questions 

for Which There is No Answer That Will Make Everyone Happy.

 

Soft Rules of Superlatives

The rules governing the proper way of forming 

the comparative and superlative degrees of adjectives are messy things. 

At first glance the matter seems simple enough; 

students are often advised that 

adjectives of a single syllable are modified with -er or -est

those with three or more syllables are modified with more or most

and those with two syllables are modified with -er or -est 

if they end with a vowel or vowel sound (such as pretty or narrow), 

but modified with more or most if they end in certain consonants 

(such as benign),

and modified with either -er/est or more/most for words ending 

in certain other consonant sounds. That is not simple at all.

 

There are also obvious exceptions to the above rules. 

Some single-syllable adjectives are not modified either way, 

on account of irregularity (good/better/best

or due to convention 

(ill is typically not modified with -er or -est, unless you are a Beastie Boy). 

And some three-syllable words work fine with the -er and -est endings, 

if they have an un- at the beginning (unhappier). 

However, most people have a solid grasp of how to modify adjective 

with either a single syllable or more than two. 

It’s the middle ground that creates problems.

 

"Realness" of Stupider and Stupidest

Some people find stupider and stupidest objectionable,

for reasons that are not entirely clear. 

Both have been in widespread use for hundreds of years, 

there are no usage guides that we know of forbidding their use, 

and there are plenty of words which share characteristics of stupid

such as polite (both are disyllables ending in an alveolar stop),

that manage to end in -er or -est without bothering anyone. 

 

One possibility is that 

disyllabic adjectives ending in a voiceless alveolar stop 

(polite) sound pleasing to our ear when ending in -er

but the voiced alveolar stops (stupid) do not. 

Even if this is true,

it seems a bit unwieldy to add to the chapter of 

‘how to make your adjectives happy and healthy.’

 

We list stupider and stupidest as the comparative 

and superlative forms of stupid, because that is what they are. 

They are honest-to-goodness, one-hundred-percent, grade-A, real words. 

 

In case anyone tries to tell you otherwise 

here is a small sample of them being used in edited prose over the ages.

If stupider and stupidest grate upon your ears 

you may simply use more or most instead.

Looking beyond this problem word, 

if you find yourself faced with a two-syllable adjective, 

and need to modify it, do not become alarmed, as adjectives can smell fear. 

Let your ear, and the reaction of your audience, be your guide. 

 

If readers hiss, or begin to ululate, after you tack on an -er 

you may wish to consider 

modifying this word with more next time you use it. 

But insofar as the modification of most two-syllable adjectives is concerned the only advice we can give with absolute certainty is 

to never make a bet about eating hot peppers.

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