Are you unclear about just what is a superlative adjective? It's an adjective that takes a comparison to the highest degree. There are two types of adjectives that are used when comparing two or more nouns: comparative adjectives and superlative adjectives. Like all adjectives, comparative and superlative adjectives modify, or describe, a noun or pronoun by giving additional information about its appearance or other qualities.
While a comparative adjective describes the difference between two items, a superlative adjective compares three or more nouns. For example:
In this sentence, the superlative adjective best compares my mother's cooking to everyone else in the family. As it describes the highest degree of difference, hers is the most delicious. The highest degree could also be that her cooking is the worst, an equal but opposite superlative adjective. When using a superlative adjective, the thing being described is always on one end of the spectrum, never in the middle of the pack.
In general, superlative adjectives are formed by adding the suffix -est to an adjective. There are a few basic spelling rules to follow when forming a superlative adjective in this way:
The best way to answer the question what is a superlative adjective is to look at how a regular adjective is transformed into both a comparative adjective and a superlative adjective. Consider these examples:
Now take a look at each of those superlative adjectives in action in a sentence:
Note that when you use the words most and least in tandem with other adjectives, most and least technically become adverbs in your sentence. Remember that an adverb describes a verb, adverb or an adjective. So the superlative adjective phrase least upset functions like an adjective in the sentence, but can be further broken down into two parts of speech: the main adjective and the adverb that describes it.
In both writing and speech, it's important to remember to use only one superlative form at a time. For example, you can either say something is the most funny or the funniest, but you cannot correctly say that something is the most funniest. Use either most/least or the -est suffix as described in the rules above, but do not combine them. Doing so is a grammatical error in English.
Once you know how to form superlative adjectives, you'll be able to enrich your writing by making comparisons among three or more things. Taking the time to review the rules for correctly spelling and using superlative adjectives will make you more confident in your writing and speech.
Go to Examples of Superlative Adjectives for lists of common superlatives that demonstrate the different forms.