Spanish Superlative Adjectives (“EL MÁS…, EL MENOS…”)

Spanish Superlative Adjectives

Welcome to our grammar lesson about Spanish Superlative Adjectives.

With the term Superlative Adjective, we can refer to an adjective that is expressed to the highest or lowest degree.

For example, instead of saying that something is “beautiful”, with superlatives we can say that it is “the most beautiful” or “the least beautiful”, when comparing and contrasting it with other things.

Or, instead of saying that something is “good”, we can say it is “the best”. Or instead of “bad”, “the worst”.

In this lesson we will learn how to form and how to use superlative adjectives, providing example sentences. You will also find a Quiz for practice.

1. Forming Superlative Adjectives

Regular cases

Most adjectives form their superlatives in a regular way, applying one of two formulas, depending on whether we want to say “the most ___” or “the least ___”:

Formulas

“the most _____” = definite article (“el, la, los, las”) + “más” + adjective

“the least _____” = definite article (“el, la, los, las”) + “menos” + adjective


Example sentences:

Este coche es el más moderno.
This car is the most modern.

Ana es la menos inteligente de nuestra clase.
Ana is the least intelligent in our class.

Somos los menos altos.
We are the least tall.

Estas sillas son las más cómodas.
These chairs are the most comfortable.


Irregular cases

There are some adjectives that have a superlative form specific to them.

For these superlatives, we don’t use the words “más” and “menos”.

The most common adjectives with specific superlatives are:

AdjectiveSuperlativePlural
bueno (good)mejor (best)mejores
malo (bad)peor (worst)peores
pequeño (small)menor (smaller)menores
joven (young)menor (younger)menores
grande (big)mayor (bigger)mayores
viejo (old)mayor (older)mayores

The superlative formula for these irregular cases is:

Formula for irregulars

definite article (“el, la, los, las”) + superlative form


Example Sentences:

Mi ordenador es el peor.
My computer is the worst.

Esas personas son las mayores del grupo.
Those people are the oldest in the group.

2. Placing a noun inside the formulas

It is possible to place a noun inside the formulas we have learned.

For the regular cases, we can place a noun right after the article:

Este coche es el coche más moderno.
This car is the most modern car.

Ana es la chica menos inteligente de nuestra clase.
Ana is the least intelligent girl in our class.

Somos los chicos menos altos.
We are the least tall boys.

Estas sillas son las sillas más cómodas.
These chairs are the most comfortable chairs.

For the irregular cases, sometimes it sounds better to place the noun after the superlative, and sometimes before it:

Mi ordenador es el peor ordenador.
My computer is the worst computer.

Esas personas son las personas mayores del grupo.
Those people are the oldest people in the group.

3. Practice: a Quiz

Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge about the Spanish superlatives learned in this lesson:

4. Another type of superlatives: with suffix “-ísimo”

There is another grammar construction in Spanish we also call “Superlative Adjective”: it is when we express an adjective to an extreme degree by using suffixes such as “-ísimo”. That grammar construction is fully explained in a separate lesson: Spanish Superlative Adjectives with Suffix “-ísimo”.

Here are two examples of this other grammar construction we also call “Superlative Adjective”:

El coche es carísimo.
The car is extremely expensive.

Mi perra es grandísima.
My female dog is extremely big.