Most / -est

Indicate the unique quality of something

A variety of apples
 

 

Superlative Adjectives

-EST MOST LEAST

Add the suffix -est to a one-syllable word or a word ending in -y or -ly add the suffix -est to form an optional superlative phrase with "of all".

Place most before an adjective or adverb of more-than-one syllable, use most.  ("greatest quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number")

Place the least before an adjective or adverb of more-than-one syllable, use least. ("smallest in size, amount, degree, etc.; slightest")

Dad says the Honeycrisp apple is the best of all (good - best)

The Honeycrisp apple is the most popular of all

The Honeycrisp apple is the least popular of all

The Granny Smith apple is the tastiest baking apple. 

The Granny Smith apple is the most flavorful baking apple.

The Granny Smith apple is the least flavorful baking apple.

This Red Delicious apple is the reddest of all. 

This Red Delicious apple is the most exceptional of all

This Red Delicious apple is the least exceptional of all

This Golden Delicious apple is the sweetest apple.

This Golden Delicious apple is the most desirable apple.

This Golden Delicious apple is the least desirable apple.

unique (adj) – the only one of its kind  

 

 

Superlative Adjective Exception List

angry — angriest

bad — worst

busy — busiest

clever — cleverest / most clever*

far — farthest / furthest

²few — fewest (count nouns)

friendly — friendliest / most friendly

fun — funnest / most fun (see below)

funny — funniest

gentle — gentlest / most gentle

good — best

happy — happiest

handsome — handsomest

late — last 

little — littlest  (size)

¹little — least  (amount–noncount nouns)

many / much — most

narrow — narrowest

silly — silliest

simple — simplest / most simple*

ugly — ugliest

¹less, less, least – irregular; for noncount nouns
²few, fewer, fewest – regular, for count nouns

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superlative Adverbs

Indicating unique manner

A variety of blenders
 

 

Superlative Adverbs

-EST MOST LEAST

Use -est with a one-syllable adverb that does not take the -ly ending (loud, fast, hard, etc.) See adverb exceptions

Use most with most adverbs ending in -ly.

Use least with most adverbs ending in -ly.

bladesThe blades of blender A go the fastest of all.

The blades of blender A go the most rapidly of all

The blades of blender D go the least rapidly of all 

Blender A runs the quiest of all. (informal use)

Blender A runs the most quietly of all.

Blender D runs the least quietly of all.

Blender A liquefies the best of all. (well)

Blender A purees the most efficiently of all.

Blender D purees the least efficiently of all.

We had to push the hardest on the buttons of blender D.
 

Blender B chops the most evenly of all.

Blender C chops the least evenly of all.

blades (n.) – the sharp cutting edges that spin in a circle
chop (v.) – to cut in small pieces.
liquefy (v.) – to turn into a liquid, purée  

 

 

 

Other Adverbs with the -est Suffix

bad — worst  It was raining the worst ever.

early — earliest He arrived the earliest.

*easy  — easiest (informal)  most easily

fast — fastest He ran the fastest.

hard — hardest  He worked the hardest.

high — highest He climbed the highest.

late — latest  He arrived the latest.

*loud  — loudest (informal)  most loudly

long —  longest  He lasted the longest.

low — lowest  He bowed the lowest.

near — nearest  He came the nearest.

*slow  — slowest (informal) most slowly

soon — soonest  He arrived the soonest.

*quick  — quickest (informal) most quickly

well — best He worked the best.

*These words are in transitional use. They may occur as either form.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superlative 

Expressions

Youngest to sail around the world
 

 

First, Ever, Of

FIRST EVER OF / IN

For record-setting events, use first followed by an infinitive phrase.

For record-setting events, use ever. 

Use a superlative with a prepositional phrase (of, in, from) to define the group.

She is the first child to sail around the world.

She is the youngest child ever to sail around the world. 

She was the youngest child of all to sail around the world.

He was the first eighty-year old to swim the English Channel.

He was the oldest person ever to swim the English Channel.

He was the oldest of all the competitors to swim the English Channel.

Michael Phelps was the first to win 18 gold medals.

Michael Phelps has won the most Olympic gold medals ever.  

Michael Phelps has won the most Olympic gold medals of all.

It was the first 100 meter hot-dog ever made. (passive voice)

It was the longest hot-dog ever  [to be] made measuring 100 meters.

It was the longest hot-dog in the world.  (27 Sept 2008 - Monterrey, Mexico)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

 

Error and Solution

FOCUS

* This works more better than that one.  (occurs in colloquial speech)

*John is my most best friend.

*This apple is sweetest enough to eat as a snack.

*The Granny Smith apple has a firmest texture for baking.

*He is the highest most honored man in my country.

This needs punctuation or the modifiers need to be marked so that we know what each word is modifying.

 

SOLUTION

This works better than that one.
This works more efficiently than that one.

John is my best friend.  Most is redundant (repetitive). Delete it.

This apple is sweet enough to eat as a snack.
This apple is the sweetest of all.

The Granny Smith apple has the firmest texture of all the apples for the purpose of baking.  (superlative)
The Granny Smith apple has a firm texture for baking.

He is the most highly honored man in my country.

The the most modifies honored.  The adverb highly  (adv.) modifies honored (adj) which modifies man (noun).

He is the highest, (the) most honored man in my country. 
The the highest modifies man.  The (the) most  (adj.) modifies honored (adj) which modifies man (noun).

 

* Incorrect use / ~ Questionable use

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

World Records

George
 

 

Comparative or Superlative?

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

1.

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Practice 2

My Perspective on Language Learning

 

perspective (n.) – viewpoint   

  

Superlative Irregular Word Forms

  1. Select the option that best completes the sentence.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

13.

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Practice 3

The Best Companion Dogs

Long-haired dachshunds
 

 

Read for errors

Dachshunds are by far the bestest small, companion dogs.  They don't eat much. And they are the neatest from all dogs because they clean up after themselves. Actually, they don't make a mess while eating because they don't want to miss eating even smallest bit of food. They are always eager to see their caretaker and greet him other with enthusiasm and little licks.  They don't bark excessively, but have deepest enough barks to frighten away burglars. As hounds they have a keenest sense of smell and can detect something approaching with their noses before they can see it with their eyes.

While their legs may be among the most shortest in the dog world, they can cover a great amount of distance quickly.  They also have the longest torso than any other dog breed.  This compensates for their short legs.  They can reach up high when standing on their back legs. Or they can fit in the most smallest of all places, which is useful for retrieving objects that are lost under the bed or in the back of one's closet. Above all, dachshunds are the amusingest dogs.  They are clowns and love to make you laugh.  Their adorable expressions and antics draw you near for the highest most desired reward — a tummy rub.

by far (adv. expr.) – by a lot, to a great degree or extent

companion (n.) a person or pet that is a friend and stays with you

excessively (adv.) – too much (adverb of degree)

deep (adj.) – a deep voice; having a low pitch; sounding as if it comes from a larger animal.

burglar (n.) – a person who tries to enter a house to steal

caretaker (n.) – owner, guardian, master

keen (adj.) – sharp, very good, very sensitive

approach (v.) – coming toward them, coming near

detect (v.) – discover through the senses

 

cover distance – travel, move, or run across a linear amount of space

torso (n.) – body (without legs or arms)

dog breed (n.) – type of dog (e.g., Labrador Retriever, English Bulldog, etc.)

compensates (v.) – to make equal, "make up for", counter balance

retrieve (v.) – fetch, go and get

clown (n.) – a circus entertainer / comedian with a painted face and red nose

adorable (adj.) – very attractive, delightful, charming

antics (n.) – playful tricks

desired (adj.) – wished for, wanted

reward (n.) – something given in return for favorable behavior or action

tummy rub – petting or stroking the stomach

 

 

 

 

Edit for errors

  1. Edit the sentence(s) in the text box.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

21.
Dachshunds are by far the bestest small, companion dogs.


22.
They don't eat much. And they are the neatest from all dogs because they clean up after themselves.


23.
Actually, they don't make a mess while eating because they don't want to miss eating even smallest bit of food.


24.
They don't bark excessively, but have deepest enough barks to frighten away burglars.


25.
As hounds they have a keenest sense of smell and can detect something approaching with their noses before they can see it with their eyes.


26.
While their legs may be among the most shortest in the dog world, they can cover a great amount of distance quickly. 


27.
They also have the longest torso than any other dog breed.  This compensates for their short legs.


28.
They can reach up high when standing on their back legs. Or they can fit in the most smallest of all places, which is useful for retrieving objects that are lost under the bed or in the back of one's closet.


29.
Above all, dachshunds are the amusingest dogs.


30.
Their adorable expressions and antics draw you near for the highest most desired reward — a tummy rub.