How to form superlative adjectives: plus 100 common superlatives list

Definition of superlative adjectives, and how to form them. Includes a useful list of 100 common superlatives, plus example sentences.

What is a superlative?

The superlative is used to show that someone or something has more of a particular quality than any other of their kind.

Superlatives are usually formed by adding the suffix -est to the end of the adjective, and using the before it (e.g. the fastest), or by adding the most before the adjective (e.g. the most delicious, the most expensive).

  • The cheetah is the fastest land animal.
  • It was the most delicious meal I’d ever eaten.
  • Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi has just become the most expensive painting ever sold at auction.

How to form the superlative

Here are some tips to help you form the superlative with different adjectives.

Adjectives with one syllable

For adjectives with one syllable, we usually form the superlative by adding -est.

For example,

  • It was the coldest winter in living memory.
  • The coldest place on earth is in Antarctica.

If the adjective ends with a single vowel letter, followed by a single consonant, we double the consonant.

For example,

  • That summer was the hottest on record.
  • The Sahara Desert and the Gobi Desert are two of the hottest places on earth.
  • London is the biggest city in England.
  • What's the saddest movie you've ever watched?

If the adjective ends with -e, this is removed, and -est is added.

For example,

  • nice/nicest - She was the nicest girl in my class.
  • blue/bluest - That summer’s day, the sky was the bluest blue we’d ever seen.
  • wise/wisest - My grandmother is the wisest person I know.

If the adjective ends with a consonant followed by -y, the -y is replaced by -i and -est is added.

For example, dry/driest

  • The Atacama Desert is the driest non-polar desert in the world.

Adjectives with two syllables

As with one-syllable adjectives, if the adjective ends with a consonant followed by -y, the -y is replaced by -i and -est is added.

For example,

  • happy/happiest – On the day I married my husband I was the happiest woman in the world.
  • messy/messiest – Our teenage son has the messiest bedroom you’ve ever seen.
  • easy-easiest - That was the easiest English exam ever!

Adjectives with two or more syllables not ending in -y

Place the most before the adjective.

For example:

  • the most complicated
  • the most beatiful
  • the most inspiring
  • the most pointless
  • She was the most attractive woman in the room.
  • Delhi is one of the most crowded cities in the world.

Examples of irregular superlatives

Adjective/Superlative

  • good – best
  • bad- worst
  • little – least
  • far – furthest/farthest

Note: We never use most and –est together.

For example, we wouldn’t say or write, the most easiest, the most funniest, the most kindest, or the most hungriest.

We would just say the easiest, the funniest, the kindest, and the hungriest.

100 common English superlatives

Now that we've looked at how to form the superlative, here's a list of 100 frequently-used examples:

  1. the best
  2. the biggest
  3. the bluest
  4. the bravest
  5. the busiest
  6. the cleverest
  7. the coldest
  8. the driest
  9. the easiest
  10. the fastest
  11. the fattest
  12. the funniest
  13. the gentlest
  14. the happiest
  15. the healthiest
  16. the highest
  17. the hottest
  18. the kindest
  19. the largest
  20. the latest
  21. the longest
  22. the loudest
  23. the luckiest
  24. the meanest
  25. the nicest
  26. the oldest
  27. the prettiest
  28. the quickest
  29. the quietest
  30. the richest
  31. the saddest
  32. the safest
  33. the shortest
  34. the simplest
  35. the smallest
  36. the smartest
  37. the strangest
  38. the strongest
  39. the tallest
  40. the thinnest
  41. the weakest
  42. the wettest
  43. the wisest
  44. the worst
  45. the youngest
  46. the most admirable
  47. the most athletic
  48. the most attractive
  49. the most amusing
  50. the most awesome
  51. the most beautiful
  52. the most boring
  53. the most careful
  54. the most caring
  55. the most charming
  56. the most clever
  57. the most comfortable
  58. the most complicated
  59. the most crowded
  60. the most daring
  61. the most dependable
  62. the most difficult
  63. the most economical
  64. the most efficient
  65. the most embarrassing
  66. the most exciting
  67. the most expensive
  68. the most extraordinary
  69. the most extroverted
  70. the most famous
  71. the most forgetful
  72. the most fragrant
  73. the most funny
  74. the most generous
  75. the most gentle
  76. the most graceful
  77. the most grateful
  78. the most important
  79. the most inspirational
  80. the most intelligent
  81. the most interesting
  82. the most introverted
  83. the most irritating
  84. the most modern
  85. the most musical
  86. the most organized
  87. the most original
  88. the most peaceful
  89. the most photogenic
  90. the most pleasant
  91. the most popular
  92. the most talented
  93. the most talkative
  94. the most thoughtful
  95. the most trustworthy
  96. the most unforgettable
  97. the most valuable

And not forgetting these irregular superlatives...
98. the best
You're the best mother in the world!
99. the worst
I've had the worst day ever.
100. the farthest/furthest
The furthest point from land is known as Point Nemo.