英会話のコツ:Superlatives

We use superlatives to indicate that nothing exceeds the level of X.  Whatever X is, nothing is bigger, better, or stronger than it.  It's already at the maximum level!

Examples:

  • Mt. Everest is the highest mountain (in the world). = There is no mountain higher than Mt. Everest.
  • The Nile is the longest river. = There is no river longer than the Nile.
  • Terrence Tao is the most intelligent man in the United States. = In this case, Terrence has been judged based on his IQ level, SAT score, PhD, and the various awards that he has received.  But there might be someone just as intelligent - if not more intelligent - as him in another country.

*Some superlative sentences are not based on facts and involve things that cannot be accurately measured.  When it comes to beauty, taste, comfort etc., the superlative sentence becomes subjective, which means that your own personal opinions, feelings, and thoughts come into play.

Examples:

  • A rainbow-dyed rose is the prettiest flower. = Not everyone will agree with this statement.
  • Puddles Pity Party is the most entertaining singer. = Most Japanese people will have no idea who this is.
  • The iPhone is the most useful invention. =For some people, the computer or TV might be the most useful invention, but for me, the iPhone can't be beat.

How to form superlatives from regular adjectives...

If the adjective is 1 syllable or ends in "y", the superlative ends in ~est / iest.

  • pretty - the prettiest
  • cute - the cutest
  • smart - the smartest
  • slow - the slowest
  • juicy - the juiciest
  • short - the shortest
  • tall - the tallest

 

If the adjective is longer, the adjective remains the same and "the most" is added in front of it.

  • amusing - the most amusing
  • adorable - the most adorable
  • creative - the most creative
  • talented - the most talented
  • terrifying - the most terrifying
  • endearing - the most endearing
  • challenging - the most challenging

 

Superlative questions:

Test your general knowledge - or give your opinion - by answering the following superlative questions.

  1. What is the longest bridge in the world?
  2. Who is the oldest person in Japan?
  3. Who is the richest person in the world?
  4. What is the smallest country in the world?
  5. Who is the most fashionable person?
  6. Who is the most talented person?
  7. What is the most popular TV show?
  8. What is the healthiest food?
  9. What is the most interesting festival?
  10. What is the tallest animal?
  11. What is the scariest movie?
  12. What is the most addictive food?
  13. What is the most expensive car?
  14. What product is the most revolutionary?
  15. What dessert is the most delicious in North America?
  16. What is the most disgusting food?