Regular superlatives

Superlatives express a characteristic to the greatest degree.

Anna è molto bella. 

Anna is very beautiful.

Anna è bellissima.

Anna is extremely beautiful.

There are two types of superlative:

Absolute superlative: doesn't involve any form of comparison with another person or thing, and can be formed in two ways:

  • By using molto (very) + adjective

Ciro è molto alto. 

Ciro is very tall.

  • By dropping the final vowel from the adjective and adding the suffix -issimo/-issima.

Ciro è altissimo  : alto → altissimo. 

Ciro is extremely tall.

Betty è ricchissima : ricco → ricchissima

Betty is extremely rich.

Relative superlative: involves comparing one person or thing with another. This type of superlative takes the following structure:

  • il/la/i/le (the) + (noun) + più/meno (most/least) + aggettivo (adjective) + di (of), to make an absolute comparison.

Ciro era il meno intelligente di tutti. 

Ciro was the least intelligent of all.

Oggi è il giorno più felice della mia vita. (di+la → della)

Today is the happiest day (literally, “the day most happy”) of my life.

  • uno/una (one) + dei/degli/delle (of the) + nome (noun) + più/meno (most/least) + aggettivo (adjective) to make a relative comparison.

La Galleria Borghese è uno dei musei più famosi di Roma. (di+i → dei)

The Galleria Borghese is one of the most famous museums in Roma.

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