French Superlative

Beginner French - Level A2

Overview

The superlative is used when you want to say that a noun is “the most” or “the least” of something. In English, the superlative is often identifiable by its -est endings. Some examples are: he fastest or the slowest runner and the loudest or the softest music.

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French A2

 

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French The Superlative

The superlative is used when you want to say that a noun is “the most” or “the least” of something. In English, the superlative is often identifiable by its -est endings. Some examples are: he fastest or the slowest runner and the loudest or the softest music.

The table below shows how to create the superlative in French. We use the same words from le comparatif (Module 5), but we pair it with a definite article (le/la/les). However, there is no degree of equality. There can be no “equals” of something that is supposed to be superlative.

The Superlative - Le Superlatif

French

English

Example

Translation

noun + le/la/les plus + adjective

the most _____

J’ai regardé les vidéos les plus longues.

 

Elle a la plus belle

voix.

I watched the longest videos.

 

She has the most beautiful voice.

noun + le/la/les moins + adjective

the least ______

Ce cours est le moins agréable.

This class is the least pleasant.

 

Important Notes:

Study the patterns and differences within this chart and read through the following rules/reminders:

  • The superlative is being used to describe a noun as “the most” or “the least” of something. The definite article used in the superlative must agree with the noun that it is describing. In the first example sentence, you use “les plus longues” to agree with the plural noun “les vidéos” that the superlative was referring to 
  • The superlative can come before OR after the noun. The order depends on the adjective being used. If it falls within the BANGS acronym of adjectives (see A1.1 Module 11 to review), then the superlative will come before the noun (i.e. la plus belle voix). Other superlatives will follow the noun 
  • We can also use the superlatives to describe verbs. For example, you could say “I type the slowest” or “He drives the safest” using the same words from the chart. Respectively these sentences would translate to, “Je tape le moins vite” and “Il conduit le plus prudent.” In these cases, however, the definite article will always take its masculine, singular form (le).
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French superlative, how to translate best and the best, le mieux and le meilleur and its feminine form.

Directions: Based on the gender and number of each given French noun, choose the superlative that it would agree with.

  1. le chien
  2. la maison
  3. les fleurs (f)
  4. les avions (m)
  5. les plus petites
  6. la plus vieille...
  7. ...les moins bruyants
  8. ...le moins gentil

Directions: Translate the following sentences into English

  1. Sarah est la plus intelligente de toute la classe.
  2. A 17h30, je suis le moins occupé.
  3. Victor gagne le plus dargent chaque année.
  4. Nous organisons les activités les plus faciles pour les enfants.

Answers and French Translation

  1. d - le moins gentil” is a masculine, singular superlative which matches the gender & number of le chien.
  2. b - la plus vieille” is a feminine, singular superlative which matches the gender & number of la maison.
  3. a - les plus petites” is a feminine, plural superlative which matches the gender & number of les fleurs.
  4. c - “les moins bruyants” is a masculin, plural superlative which matches the gender & number of les avions.
  5. Sarah is the smartest in the whole class.
  6. At 5:30pm I am the least busy.
  7. Victor earns the most money each year.
  8. We are organizing the easiest activities for the children.

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