Wednesday, January 20, 2016

English Superlatives Are the Best

At the end of last week we took a look at English comparatives, words that are used to compare two things and say which is bigger, better, or more beautiful, for example. Today we're going to continue focusing on the English language as we look at things that are beyond comparison, also known as superlatives.

Superlatives are used to explain something that is in some way beyond comparison. In English, these words are created in a similar way to comparatives, but rather than adding the -er suffix, we add the suffix -est.

Last week we used big, hot, fat, and thin as our example adjectives because their final consonants double. As comparatives, they become bigger, hotter, fatter, and thinner. When used as superlatives, they become biggest, hottest, fattest, and thinnest.

Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world.
In terms of syllables, the same rules apply to both comparatives and superlatives. When adjectives are too long to add the -est suffix, we add "most" to create a superlative. Therefore the word beautiful becomes the most beautiful.

As with comparatives and the English language in general, there are always exceptions. For example, the superlative of good is the best and the superlative of bad is the worst.

Hopefully these simple rules will help you have the best English grammar around!