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Unit 108. Superlatives (the longest / the most enjoyable etc.)

Unit 108; Part A

galka.jpgStudy these examples:

What is the longest river in the world?
What was the most enjoyable holiday you've ever had?

and most enjoyable are superlative forms.

Unit 108; Part B

galka.jpgThe superlative form is -est or most ... . In general, we use -est for short words and most ... for longer words. The rules are the same as those for the comparative - see Unit 105.
       long longest       hot hottest       easy easiest       hard hardest
but   most famous    most boring    most difficult    most expensive

A few adjectives are irregular:

good best       bad worst        far furthest/farthest

Unit 108; Part C

galka.jpgWe normally use the before a superlative(the longest / the most famous etc.):

       Yesterday was the hottest day of the year.
       The film was really boring. It was the most boring film I've ever seen.
       She is a really nice person - one of the nicest people I know.
       Why does he always come to see me at the worst possible moment?

Compare superlative and comparative:

       This hotel is the cheapest in town.  (superlative)
        This hotel is cheaper than all the others in town.
       He's the most patient person I've ever met.
        He's much more patient than I am.

Unit 108; Part D

galka.jpgOldest and eldest
The superlative of old is oldest:

       That church is the oldest building in the town.  (not the eldest)

We use
eldest (or oldest) when we are talking about people in a family:
       My eldest son is 13 years old.  (or My oldest son)
       Are you the eldest in your family? 
(or the oldest)

Unit 108; Part E

galka.jpgAfter superlatives we normally use in with places:

       What's the longest river in the world(not of the world)
       We had a nice room. It was one of the best in the hotel.
  (not of the hotel)

We also use in for organisations and groups of people
(a class / a company etc.):
       Who is the youngest student in the class (not of the class)

For a period of time, we normally use of:

       What was the happiest day of your life?
       Yesterday was the hottest day of the year.

Unit 108; Part F

galka.jpgWe often use the present perfect (I have done) after a superlative (see also Unit 8A):

  •    What's the most important decision you've ever had to make?
  •    That was the best holiday I've had for a long time.


flag.jpgComplete the sentences. Use a superlative (-est or most ...) + a preposition (of or in).
Key.2    It's the cheapest restaurant in the town.
3    It was the happiest day of my life.
4    She's the most intelligent student in the class.
5    It's the most valuable painting in the gallery.
6    It's the busiest time of the year.
8    He's one of the richest men in the world.
9    It's one of the biggest castles in Britain.
10  She's one of rhe best players in the team. (on the team is also possible)
11  It was one of the worst experiences of my life.
12  He's one of the most dangerous criminals in the country.

1    It's a very good room.
      It    is the best room in    the hotel.
2    It's a very cheap restaurant.
      It's __________________ the town.
3    It was a very happy day.
      It was __________________ my life.
4    She's a very intelligent student.
      She __________________ the class.
5    It's a very valuable painting.
      It __________________ the gallery.
6    Spring is a very busy time for me.
      It __________________ the year.

In the following sentences use one of + a superlative + a preposition.

7    It's a very good room.
      It    is one of the best rooms in    the hotel.
8    He's a very rich man.
      He's one ________________________ the world.
9    It's a very big castle.
      It ________________________ Britain.
10  She's a very good player.
      She ________________________ the team.
11  It was a very bad experience.
      It ________________________ my life.
12  He's a very dangerous criminal.
      He ________________________ the country.

flag.jpgComplete the sentences. Use a superlative (-est or most ...) or a comparative (-er or more ...).
Key.3    larger
4    the smallest
5    better
6    the worst
7    the most popular
8    ... the highest mountain in the world ... It is higher than ...
9    the most enjoyable
10  more comfortable
11  the quickest
12  The oldest    or   The eldest

1    We stayed at    the cheapest    hotel in the town.  (cheap)
2    Our hotel was    cheaper    than all the others in the town.  (cheap)
3    The United States is very large, but Canada is ______________. (large)
4    What's ______________ country in the world?  (small)
5    I wasn't feeling well yesterday, but I feel a bit ______________ today.  (good)
6    It was an awful day. It was ______________ day of my life.  (bad)
7    What is ______________ sport in your country?  (popular)
8    Everest is ______________ mountain in the world. It is ______________ than any other mountain.  (high)
9    We had a great holiday. It was one of ______________ holidays we've ever had.  (enjoyable)
10  I prefer this chair to the other one. It's ______________. (comfortable)
11  What's ______________ way of getting from here to the station?  (quick)
12  Sue and Kevin have got three daughters. ______________ is 14 years old.  (old)

flag.jpgWhat do you say in these situations? Use a superlative + ever. Use the words in brackets (in the correct form).
Key.2    That's the funniest joke I've ever heard.
3    This is the best coffee I've ever tasted.
4    She's the most generous person I've ever met.
5    That's the furthest/farthest I've ever run.
6    It's the worst mistake I've ever made.    or    It was the worst...
7    Who's the most famous person you've ever met?

1    You've just been to the cinema. The film was extremely boring. You tell your friend:
     (boring / film / see) That's    the most boring film I've ever seen  .   
2    Your friend has just told you a joke, which you think is very funny. You say:
      (funny / joke / hear) That's ___________________________________.
3    You're drinking coffee with a friend. It's really good coffee. You say:
     (good / coffee / taste)  This ___________________________________.
4    You are talking to a friend about Mary. Mary is very generous. You tell your friend about her:
     (generous / person / meet)  She ___________________________________.
5    You have just run ten kilometres. You've never run further than this.
      You say to your friend: (far / run) That ___________________________________.
6    You decided to give up your job. Now you think this was a bad mistake.
      You say to your friend: (bad / mistake / make)  It ___________________________________.
7    Your friend meets a lot of people, some of them famous. You ask your friend:
     (famous / person / meet?)  Who ___________________________________?

Unit 107      Unit 108     Unit 109 forward.jpg

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