This morning I started researching the concept of superlative:
DEFINITION: the highest degree attainable, meaning of the highest kind or quality; surpassing all others; supreme, extreme
ORIGIN: The word came into English from Latin, via Olde French, about 625 years ago.
HYPHENATION: su-per-la-tive with 11 letters and 4 syllables
SYNONYMS: acme, height, elevation, peak, pinnacle, summit, top
SLANG SYNONYMS: A-OK, awesome, boss, cool, fab, fantabulous, gangbusters, groovy, numero uno, No. 1, out of sight, phat, prize-winning, rad, righteous, sick, top-notch, unsurpassed, wizard
As you may know, the superlative describes a part of our grammar. Sometimes it's hard to understand (our own) grammar, so I went over and did a lesson on superlatives at Study Spanish.com. Here's a snippet:
We use superlatives to compare things. There are two types of superlative: relative and absolute.
Relative: John is the smartest boy in the class.The relative superlative describes a noun within the context of a group of 3 or more things:
Absolute: John is very smart.
John is the smartest boy in the class; or Of the three, Manny is the meanest.The absolute superlative describes a noun that is not in the context of a group:
John is very smart; The book is extremely expensiveIn English, a relative superlative is formed by using the word "most" or the ending "-est."
Jose is the most intelligent boy in the class; Maria is the smartest girl in the class.In Spanish, a relative superlative combines an article with mas or menos then adds an adjective and de
Juan es el chico más inteligente de la clase; John is the smartest boy in the class.In Spanish, an absolute superlative may be formed in one of 3 ways - muy and adjective or sumamente and adjective or adjective and ísimo. Each of these is a little stronger than the preceding one; so -ísimo means a superlative superlative!
Bill Gates es el hombre más rico de los EEUU; Bill Gates is the richest man in the US
muy guapo; very handsomeEXAMPLE:
sumamente guapo; extremely handsome
guapísimo; indescribably handsome
Since this is a MATH blog, I'd better end with some numbers, right? Here is a superlative table of astronomical data.
|Unit of Comparison||Earth||Mars||Jupiter||Superlative sentence|
|Planet Diameter (km)||12,760||6,790||142,800||Jupiter is biggest.|
|Distance from Sun (million km)||150||228||778||Jupiter is most distant from the Sun.|
|Length of day (hours)||24||25||10||Jupiter has the shortest day.|
|Number of Moons||1||2||16||Jupiter has the most moons.|
|Surface Temp. (°Celsius)||22||-23||-150||Jupiter is coldest.|