Spanish Language Blog

Spanish Lesson Intermediate 33 Spanish Superlatives Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Learning, Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary, Videos

In this Spanish video lesson we will look at Spanish Superlatives – “Superlativos”.

A “Superlative” is the form of an adjective or adverb that indicates that the person, thing, or action referred to has the quality of the adjective or adverb to a degree greater than that of anything it is being compared to.

There are two types of Superlative: relative and absolute. Relative Superlatives differ to Absolute Superlatives as they describe a noun within the context of a larger group.

English Relative Superlatives are formed using the word “Most” or the suffix “-est”, for example: “The Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world”. In Spanish we would say: “La Mona Lisa es el cuadro más famoso del mundo”, using “Más” for “Most”. Relative Superlatives in Spanish use the structures: Más / Menos + adjective + de (or) Mejor/ Peor + noun + de.

An example of an Absolute Superlative in English is: “Tom is very/so handsome”, where Tom is not compared to anyone else in a larger group. In Spanish this sentence would read: “Tom es muy/tan guapo”. Absolute Superlatives in Spanish use Spanish adverbs such as Muy (very) and Tan (so), Spanish suffixes such as -ísimo and -ísima (extremely), and Spanish prefixes such as Re- and Requete- (very).

First let’s look in more detail at the relative use of superlatives in Spanish:

El/la/los/las + noun + más/menos + adjective + de…:

• El Nilo es el río más largo del mundo: The Nile is the longest river in the world
• Ricardo es el estudiante menos trabajador de la clase: Ricardo is the least hardworking student in the class
• La Mona Lisa es el cuadro más famoso del mundo: The Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world

Sometimes you can avoid using the noun:

• Luis y Carlos son los menos estudiosos de los hermanos: Luis and Carlos are the least studious of the brothers
• María es la más lista de la clase: María is the most clever in the class
• Soy el más alto de mis amigos: I am the tallest of my friends

El, la, los, las + mejor – mejores/peor – peores + noun + de…:

• Julia y Carlos son los mejores alumnos del colegio: Julia and Carlos are the best students in the college
• Antonio es el peor jugador de su equipo: Antonio is the worst player in his team
• Miriam es la mejor cocinera de su pueblo: Miriam is the best cook of her town

Here you can also omit the noun:

• Pepe y Carmen son los peores de la clase: Pepe and Carmen are the worst of the class
• Yo soy el mejor de todos: I am the best of all
• Mi perro es el mejor de los que conozco: My dog is the best of those I know

Now let’s look at the absolute use of superlatives in Spanish:


• Muy …: Very
Ana es muy guapa: Ana is very pretty
• Tan…: So
Ana es tan guapa: Ana is so pretty

Expressions: (colloquial)

• La mar de…: Very
La mar de bien: Very well
Has cocinado la mar de bien: You have cooked very well
• La mar de aburrido: Very boring
La fiesta fue la mar de aburrida: The party was very boring
• Una pasada de…: Very
Una pasada de alto: Very tall
Mi hermano es una pasada de alto: My brother is very tall
• Una pasada (de bueno): very good
Esta película es una pasada de buena: This film is very good
Esta película es una pasada: This film is very good

Spanish suffixes:

Ísimo/a/os/as: Very very/Extremely/Absolutely

• Buenísimo: Extremely good
• Rapidísimo: Extremely fast
• Interesantísimo: Extremely interesting
• Carísimo: Extremely expensive
• Baratísimo: Extremely cheap

Some adjectives change a little with the addition of the suffix –ísimo:

• Amable – Amabilísimo/a: Extremely kind
• Antiguo – Antiquísimo/a: Extremely old
• Bueno – Bonísimo/a: Extremely good
• Caliente – Calentísimo/a: Extremely hot
• Célebre – Celebérrimo/a: Extremely famous
• Cierto – Certísimo/a: Absolutely true
• Corriente – Corrientísimo/a: Extremely common
• Cruel – Crudelísimo/a: Extremely cruel
• Fiel – Fidelísimo/a: Extremely loyal
• Fuerte – Fortísimo/a: Extremely strong
• Libre – Libérrimo/a: Absolutely free
• Limpio – Limpísimo/a: Extremely clean
• Noble – Nobilísimo/a: Extremely noble
• Nuevo – Novísimo/a: Extremely new
• Pobre – Paupérrimo/a: Extremely poor
• Poco – Poquísimo/a: Hardly anything
• Reciente – Recentísimo/a: Extremely recent
• Rico – Riquísimo/a: Extremely tasty
• Sabio – Sapientísimo/a: Extremely wise
• Simple – Simplicísimo/a (although you can also say simplísimo) Extremely simple
• Valiente – Valentísimo/a: Extremely brave

Exceptions (in these cases you use muy, sumamente, extremadamente):

• Colours finishing in –a: rosa, malva, púrpura.
• Adjectives finishing in –uo and íl: arduo, juvenil
• Adjectives with the stress on the third before last syllable finishing in –eo, -ico. –fero, -imo: espontáneo, único, politico, mortífero, íntimo

Prefixes: (colloquial)

• Re-: Very
• Requete-: Very
• Super-: Very

• Esta paella está rebuena / requetebuena / superbuena: This paella is very tasty
• Carlos es relisto / requetelisto / superlisto: Carlos is very clever

I think it is fair to say that Spanish Superlatives are not that difficult to form and use. You just have to learn and remember a few key rules and a long list of Spanish adjectives.

The key as always is to be 100% clear on your grammar structures and then to practice as much as you can listening, speaking, writing and reading. If you don’t actually put into practice all of the good things you learn they will never fully sink in.

I hope very much that you are enjoying my intermediate Spanish course here with Transparent Language and look forward to seeing you next time with another Spanish lesson.

¡Hasta luego!

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About the Author: Laura & Adam

Laura & Adam have been blogging and creating online Spanish courses for Transparent Language since 2010. Laura is from Bilbao in northern Spain and Adam is from Devon in the south of England. They lived together in Spain for over 10 years, where their 2 daughters were born, and now they live in Scotland. Both Laura & Adam qualified as foreign language teachers in 2004 and since have been teaching Spanish in Spain, the UK, and online.