If you’re going to Italy this summer, you might want to know how to say in Italian sentences like:
This pizza is very good
You’re very beautiful
You’re very elegant tonight
And knowing how to form and use the Italian superlative can really come in handy.
In Italian the superlative has two possible forms: superlativo relativo (superlative relative) and superlativo assoluto (absolute superlative).
It indicates that an object or a person has the greatest or least degree of a quality compared to that of other objects or people.
1st Term of comparison + Verb + Article + Più’ (the most) + Adjective + Di/Tra + 2nd Term of comparison
1st Term of comparison + Verb + Article + Meno (the least) + Adjective + Di/Tra + 2nd Term of comparison
Luca è il più forte della classe -> Luca is the strongest in the class;
Luca è il più forte tra i nostri amici -> Luca is the strongest among our friends;
It indicates that an object or a person has the greatest or least degree of a quality – without being compared with that of other objects or people.
Adjective’s base + Issimo/a/i/e
To get the adjective’s base just delete the last vowel of the adjective: elegante -> elegant
Then, to form superlative assoluto, add -issimo/a/i/e -> elegantissimo.
Maria era elegantissima stasera -> Maria was very elegant tonight;
Other ways to form superlativo assoluto
1- First way:
Molto/Incredibilmente/Estremamente/Decisamente + Adjective
Sei molto/incredibilmente/estremamente/decisamente intelligente -> You’re very intelligent;
2- Second way, used only in informal Italian:
Super/Ultra/Stra + Adjective (without any space)
Questo ristorante è super/ultra/stracaro! -> This restaurant is very expensive!
Irregular superlative forms
Finally, some adjectives have irregular superlative forms. In the table below I’ve listed the commonest ones.
|Adjective||Relative superlative||Absolute superlative|
|Buono||il più buono – il migliore||buonissimo – ottimo|
|Cattivo||il più cattivo – il peggiore||cattivissimo – pessimo|
|Grande||il più grande – il maggiore||grandissimo – massimo|
|Piccolo||il più piccolo – il minore||piccolissimo – minimo|
|Alto||il più alto||altissimo – sommo/supremo|
|Basso||il più basso||bassissimo – infimo|
If you need to master or revise basic Italian grammar, have a look at my book Sos Italian grammar A1-A2.
I hope this article helped you to understand how to form the Italian superlative.
Feel free to post your comments below.
Original image by harisnurtanio