What’s up? Is everything alright? Ready to learn Portuguese online? Today’s Dica is about the uses of the superlative in Portuguese. But what is a superlative after all?
In your opinion, what is the best city in the world? We hope you thought about Rio! To talk about the best things ever, we have to use a superlative. What’s the best thing about Rio? (Probably Copacabana beach, right?) What about the worst place you’ve ever visited in your life?
We use the superlative to compare nouns and qualify them in comparison. That is, to express qualities at a very high or very low level. This way we can intensify our speech, and the things we talk about.
Superlative of Superiority
We use the superlative degree to give more or less value to something. Sometimes we may think that a place is good, but if we don’t have another place in mind to compare it with, we might simply say that this place is the best (melhor). This is what we call Superlativo de Superioridade. Let’s see some examples?
Examples of Superlative of Superiority
- Este será o assunto mais importante da reunião.
This is the most important topic of the meeting.
- Estas ruas são as mais famosas da cidade do Rio de Janeiro.
These are the most famous streets in Rio de Janeiro.
- Este hotel é o mais bonito do Rio.
This is the most beautiful hotel in Rio.
Pay attention, if we are comparing things and saying that one of them is superior to the others, we have to specify the comparison. That’s why we said “Ruas mais famosas do Rio de Janeiro“, for example, because we have to specify the origin of the comparison.
Superlative of Inferiority
If you want to say that something is less, or worst, you can also use the superlative. We can use the superlative using the word menos in Portuguese. This is called Superlativo de Inferioridade, to say that something is inferior to the rest.
- Hoje é o dia menos quente do ano.
Today is the coolest day of the year.
- De todas as lojas de roupa, esta é a menos cara.
Of all clothing stores, this one is the least expensive.
- Este é o livro menos interessante que eu li.
This is the least interesting book I’ve read.
- Ele escolheu a casa menos bonita.
He chose the least beautiful house.
Special Cases of Superlative in Portuguese
We have superlative adjectives in Portuguese too! These words will change in the superlative. Pay attention when using the adjectives bom (good), ruim (bad), grande (big) and pequeno (small). They have an irregular form of superlative, and we have to memorize it. Check out:
Take a look below and learn how we transform a regular sentence into the special cases superlatives:
|O Rio é uma cidade boa (Rio is a good city)
|O Rio é a melhor cidade do Brasil (Rio is the best city in Brazil)
|Este suco é muito grande (This juice is big)
|Este suco é o maior da lanchonete (This is the biggest juice in the snack bar)
|Hoje o clima está ruim (Today the weather is bad)
|Hoje o clima está o pior do ano (Today is the worst weather of the year)
|Esta árvore é muito pequena (This tree is very small)
|This is the smallest tree in the area (Esta é a menor árvore da região.)
Examples for Special Cases
- Este é o melhor bar da cidade.
This is the best bar in the city.
- Aquele é o pior lugar para se ficar. É muito perigoso.
That is the worst place to stay. It’s very dangerous.
- Esta é a maior rua.
This is the biggest street.
- Este é o menor quarto do hotel. Não gostei dele.
This is the smallest bedroom in the hotel. I didn’t like it.
Absolute Superlative in Portuguese
We can also create superlatives with only one word. For you to create the superlative it’s also possible to add a suffix to the adjective. We can use the sufixes -íssimo and -íssima, according to the gender, or -bilíssimo and -bilíssima when the adjectives end in -vel. Take a look at the structure:
Examples for Absolute Superlative
- Estudar na Rio & Learn é divertidíssimo (divertido).
Studying Portuguese is really fun.
- Ir embora do Rio de Janeiro é tristíssimo (triste).
Leaving Rio de Janeiro is too sad.
- O trânsito do Rio está engarrafadíssimo (engarrafado).
The traffic in Rio is really jammed.
- O metrô de São Paulo é confortabilíssimo (confortável).
The subway in São Paulo is very comfortable.
Irregular Absolute Superlatives
The words fácil, difícil, bom and ruim have a different forms of superlative in Portuguese. Take a look.
- Aprender matemática é dificílimo.
Learning Math is very difficult.
- Falar Português é facílimo.
Speaking Portuguese is very easy.
- Ontem nós fomos a um ótimo restaurante.
Yesterday we went to a great restaurant.
- O filme que ela viu era péssimo.
The movie she saw was terrible.
Superlative in Portuguese with Adverbs
We can also create superlatives in Portuguese using adverbs. Take a look at some of them:
What do you think about learning Portuguese online? It’s a very good idea, right?
- Fazer Aulas de Português Online é uma super hiper mega ideia!
Having Portuguese Online Classes is a super hyper mega idea!
Informal Superlative in Portuguese
We also can create informal superlative using popular words that are used informally. Let’s learn how we do it now!
Repeating the Adjective
If you repeat the adjective you’re using, it will create the sense of superlative. Take a look at the examples:
- Ela é engraçada engraçada.
She is funny funny.
- Nós somos inteligentes inteligentes.
We are smart smart.
- Ela é a professora das professoras.
She is the teacher of all teachers (the best teacher).
- Este é o livro dos livros!
This is the book of all books (the best book).
Using the Augmentative
If you use the augmentative form in the noun you’re talking about, we will also have the sense of superlative. Check out:
- Ela é um mulherão.
She is a great woman.
- Ele é um homão!
He is a great man.
Using Swear Words
We can also use some bad words in Portuguese to give the idea of intensity. Today is very hot in Rio, so I can say:
- Hoje está quente pra caralho.
Today is fucking hot.
You can use pra caralho after any adjective to give this ideia. Remember that this is a swear word, cariocas use it a lot, but if you prefer a more polite option you can replace the word caralho for caramba.
- O dia está lindo pra caramba.
The day is very beautiful.
Exercises with Superlative in Portuguese
Let’s put everything we just learned into practice, and complete the exercise below!
That’s it! Now we know how to use the superlative in Portuguese. How about enjoying the most famous sunset in the world? With our RioLIVE! at Arpoador, you can! Check our Facebook page for some photos of our RioLIVE! Activities.
See you soon.
Hugs from Brazil!