L10: Part 1 - The Relative Superlative form of adjectives

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L10: Part 1 - The Relative Superlative form of adjectives

Post by Peter »

(Le forme superlative degli aggettivi – Parte 1 – Il superlativo relativo)

As with adverbs there are two superlative forms of adjectives – the relative and the absolute. In this first Part of Lesson 10 we look at the relative superlative.

We use the relative superlative to identify who or which of more than two people, animals or things is the best (or worst), or has the most or least of a particular quality.

You will recall from Lesson 9, which explains that in the comparative forms we use più and meno for more and less. To render the relative superlative we again use più and meno followed by the adjective but preceded by the definite article if the adjective comes before the noun or if it refers to a noun in a different part of the sentence. Where the adjective follows the noun, then clearly there is no need to repeat the article. Let us look at some examples.

I have just bought the most expensive car I have ever had
Ho appena comprato la macchina più cara che ho mai avuto

The holiday that we took this year was the least expensive of them all
La vacanza che abbiamo fatto quest’anno è stata la meno cara di tutte loro

Sara is the most intelligent student in her class
Sara è la studentessa più intelligente nella sua classe

Henry is the laziest of our sons
Enrico è il più pigro dei nostri figli

Saying that, though, he is also the cleverest of them
Detto questo, però, n’è il più bravo

The jaguar is the most beautiful of the cat family
Il giaguaro è il più bello dei felini

Irregular adjectives

These are the ones that we covered in Part 2 of Lesson 9: alto, basso, buono, cattivo, grande, piccolo. As with the comparative form they can take an irregular form, but again like other relative superlatives you can also use il or la.

alto - high - il/la superiore - highest
basso - low - il/la inferiore - lowest
buono - good: il/la migliore - best
cattivo - bad (evil): il/la peggiore - worst
grande - big: il/la maggiore - biggest, grandest, largest
piccolo - small: il/la minore smallest, littlest

Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world
Monte Everest è la superiore montagna nel mondo

I bought these tickets at the lowest price I could find
Ho comprato i biglietti all’inferiore prezzo che riuscirei a trovare

Our holiday at Ravello was the best of all those we have taken in Italy
La nostra vacanza a Ravello fu la migliore di tutte quelle che abbiamo fatto in Italia

Compared to the others, Arthur is the worst driver
In confronto degli altri, Arturo è il peggiore autista

It is the biggest of all the houses on the lakefront
È la maggiore di tutte le case sul lungolago

He was the smallest man that I have ever seen
È stato il minore uomo che ho mai visto

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