Superlatives are the ultimate adjectives. They are used to express the supreme form of an adjective. For example, “the best” and “the most beautiful” are both superlative adjectives. Whether we use “the most” or the ending “-est” depends on the adjective itself. In this English grammar lesson, I will teach you the rules that apply to superlatives. There are, however, some exceptions to the rules that you need to know. Don’t make the mistake of saying “the bestest” or “the most beautifulest”. Watch this video and do the quiz to understand all the rules and their exceptions. https://www.engvid.com/english-grammar-superlative-adjectives/
Doo-doo-doo-doo. Today I’m going to teach you about something that’s super: Superlatives. Are you a bit confused about superlatives? Don’t worry, I’m here to teach you. Superlatives. Now, understand I’m teaching you with adjectives, not adverbs, because that’s a whole other lesson.
So, superlatives as adjectives – they’re the best. We don’t say: “They’re the goodest” for a reason. What we have to understand about superlatives are: There can be only one superlative. If you’re looking at another grammar called comparative, there have to be two things to compare. For example, red and blue; purple and yellow. But with superlatives there’s only one thing. And what we’re telling you is that this one is number one. This one is the best. There’s no other competition for this adjective.
So, the way that we make superlatives, you’re going to have two choices. You can either put: “the” plus your adjective plus “-est”, or you can put: “the” plus “most” plus your adjective. So, how do you know which adjective will get “est” and which one will get “the most”? I’ll tell you. We get to play a game. We get to do something very fun called counting syllables. First of all, we have to understand what a syllable is. A syllable is a vowel sound, or how long the word is. So, when we count syllables we have to be very careful, and we’re only going to count the vowel sounds of the words; not the vowels because this gets confusing. Once we have counted the vowel sounds, we use “est” or “the most”.
So let’s do some simple examples and I’ll tell you our game. The first one: How many syllables or how many verb sounds…? Or vowel sounds do we have in the word “beautiful”? If we simply count the vowels, we’ve got one, two, three, four… Oo, we’ve got five vowels, but in English, “beautiful” is not five syllables, it’s only three because if you have two or three vowels together, they’re only going to make one vowel sound. So, in English, the word “beautiful” is only three syllables. “Beau-ti-ful”. Okay? If we look at this word: “gentle”, we don’t say: “gentl-e”, but because it’s “le” together, this is going to make another syllable sound, so we say: “gentle”. This one is two syllables, this one is three.
What about this one? First of all, count the vowels. How many vowels are there? One, two. Because the vowels are separated with consonants, the vowels are not together, we can actually count these as two: “na-rrow”. Two syllables. We have this word: “busy”. Bzz, busy bee. “Busy”, again, one syllable… Sorry, one vowel sound, one vowel sound is two. “Hungry”, one and one, this is two. This one’s easy, there’s only one vowel, there’s only one vowel sound, so it’s going to be one syllable. “Happy”, two vowels, two syllables. You understand?
Try and do these ones. Now, be careful, in English if we have an “e” at the end of the word, we don’t say it. So we don’t say: “blu-e”, we just say: “blue”. So in this, how many syllables are there? How many vowel sounds? Two? One. So we just say: “blue”, the “e” is silent. Okay? My favourite colour is two syllables: “pur-ple”. Again, I told you if it ends in “le” we’re going to actually put another syllable here. This is an exception to our vowel-counting rule. So we say: “purple”. “Good”, how many syllables? “Good” has two vowels together, but it only makes one sound.
“Bad” has one. What about this one? “Lar…” We don’t say in English: “larg-e”, we say: “large”. So, again, because the “e” is silent this only has one syllable. And a lot of people get confused, but there’s only one. And this one, easy: “big”.
So, if you look at our words, the very first thing that we’re going to do is we’re going to count the syllables, we’re going to count the vowel sounds. Three, two, one. Now, this is how we have to figure out: When do we use “est” and when do we use “the most”? This part is easy. If your word is small… So if your word has one syllable, it’s always going to be “est”. So, we say: “The bluest”. “What? That’s very strange. Ronnie, how can something be bluest?” Well, colour is an adjective, so you can say: “Wow, that’s the bluest sky I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s beautiful.” We can use colours with this because colours are adjectives. […]