Spanish superlatives -ísimo with adjectives ending in -o, -io, -l and -ar

Learn how to form the Spanish superlative with -ísimo

When we want to say "extremely [adjective/adverb]" in Spanish, we sometimes use the endings -ísimo, -ísima, -ísimos, -ísimas, as an alternative to muy, super, realmente; for example: muy caro, super caro, realmente caro, carísimo.

 

Spanish superlative of adjectives that end in a single vowel

Read and listen to these examples:

Mi mejor amigo Adrián es listísimo.My best friend Adrian is very clever. (adjective: listo)

María es lentísima haciendo los deberes.Maria is extremely slow doing her homework. (adjective: lento)

Los conciertos de la calle son ruidosísimos.Street concerts are the noisiest. (adjective: ruidoso)

Aquí venden unas pulseras carísimas.Here they sell extremely expensive bracelets. (adjective: caro)

La profesora nueva es inteligentísima.The new teacher is really intelligent. (adjective: inteligente)

If the adjective ends in a single vowel, the vowel is removed and replaced by -ísimo, -ísima, -ísimos or -ísimas.

However, note this exception: adjectives that end in -ble, despite having a single vowel -e at the end, follow a different rule, see Spanish superlatives -ísimo with adjectives ending in -co, -go, -ble,-z, -or and -n

Spanish superlative of adjectives that end in -io

If the adjective ends in -io, then both vowels are removed and replaced by -ísimo, -ísima, -ísimos or -ísimas.

Tienes que lavar tu coche; está sucísimo.You have to clean your car; it's extremely dirty. (adjective: sucio)

Nos hemos comprado un apartamento con un salón amplísimo.We've bought an apartment with an extremely spacious living room. (adjective: amplio)

Las instalaciones del hotel están limpísimas.The hotel facilities are extremely clean. (adjective: limpio)

Mis dos cuñados son serísimos.My two brothers-in-law are extremely serious. (adjective: serio)

Mis dos cuñados son seriecísimos.My two brothers-in-law are extremely serious. (adjective: serio)

As you can see in the last examples above, the adjective "serio" (serious) admits two different superlatives: serísimo and seriecísimo

 

Spanish superlative of adjectives that end in -l and -ar

If the adjective ends in -l or -ar, the superlative suffix is simply added to the end of the word (no letters are removed).

Este ejercicio me parece dificilísimo.I find this exercise extremely difficult. (adjective: difícil)

Las preguntas del examen eran facilísimas.The questions in the exam were extremely easy.

Tenemos unos empleados lealísimos.We have some extremely loyal employees. (adjective: leal)

Esos chicos son vulgarísimos. Están siempre diciendo palabrotas.Those boys are extremely vulgar. They're always swearing. (adjective: vulgar)

Esta canción fue popularísima en los años 90.This song was extremely popular in the 90s. (adjective: popular)

 

Spanish superlative of some adverbs

We can also form the superlative of some adverbs with the suffix -ísimo. As adverbs, the form is invariable, so there is no agreement with any noun; we take the adverb, omit the last vowel and add the suffix -ísimo

For example:

lento = slow/slowly

Mi abuela camina lentísimo porque le duelen las rodillas.My grandma walks really slowly because her knees hurt.

rápido = fast/quickly

Cristina conduce rapidísimo.Cristina drives really fast. 

tarde = late

¡Habéis llegado tardísimo!You're very late! [lit: arrived]

temprano = early

Mi padre siempre se levanta tempranísimo.My dad always gets up really early.

suave = soft/softly

Habla suavísimo al bebé.Speak to the baby very softly. 

Exceptions

Bear in mind there are some exceptions/irregularities; for example:

cerca = close/near

- ¿Te acompaño a casa? -No es necesario; vivo cerquísima.-Shall I walk you home? -No need; I live really close.

the superlative form keeps the -a at the end. There is also a consonant change to keep the original sound [k]: c > qu

lejos = far

Ellos viven lejísimos del centro.They live really far from the centre.

the superlative form keeps the -s at the end.

If the adjective or adverb has a written accent [´], when we form the superlative, the original accent is lost and always placed on the í from ísimo, -a, -os, -as.  

For example:

rápido -> rapidísimofácil  -> facilísimo

All superlatives using this suffix have a written accent.

Also bear in mind that some superlatives that come from adjectives containing -ue or -ie may also use a form that imitates the latin origin of the adjective:

fuerte, fortísimo/fuertísimostrong, extremely strong

cierto, certísimo/ciertísimocertain, extremely certain

nuevo, novísimo/nuevísimonew, extremely new

The form that imitates the latin one is perceived as a more educated form, but both are valid.

The only form accepted for the superlative of "antiguo" is the one keeping the latin form, using -qu:

antiguo, antiquísimoold, extremely old
 

 

To learn about other irregular superlatives see Spanish superlatives -ísimo with adjectives ending in -co, -go, -ble,-z, -or and -n

See also:

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Examples and resources

¡Habéis llegado tardísimo!You're very late! [lit: arrived]
María es lentísima haciendo los deberes.Maria is extremely slow doing her homework. (adjective: lento)
Aquí venden unas pulseras carísimas.Here they sell extremely expensive bracelets. (adjective: caro)
Mi padre siempre se levanta tempranísimo.My dad always gets up really early.
La profesora nueva es inteligentísima.The new teacher is really intelligent. (adjective: inteligente)
fuerte, fortísimo/fuertísimostrong, extremely strong
Mis dos cuñados son serísimos.My two brothers-in-law are extremely serious. (adjective: serio)
cierto, certísimo/ciertísimocertain, extremely certain
nuevo, novísimo/nuevísimonew, extremely new
Mis dos cuñados son seriecísimos.My two brothers-in-law are extremely serious. (adjective: serio)
antiguo, antiquísimoold, extremely old
Este ejercicio me parece dificilísimo.I find this exercise extremely difficult. (adjective: difícil)
Tenemos unos empleados lealísimos.We have some extremely loyal employees. (adjective: leal)
Las instalaciones del hotel están limpísimas.The hotel facilities are extremely clean. (adjective: limpio)
Esta canción fue popularísima en los años 90.This song was extremely popular in the 90s. (adjective: popular)
Mi abuela camina lentísimo porque le duelen las rodillas.My grandma walks really slowly because her knees hurt.
- ¿Te acompaño a casa? -No es necesario; vivo cerquísima.-Shall I walk you home? -No need; I live really close.
Mi mejor amigo Adrián es listísimo.My best friend Adrian is very clever. (adjective: listo)
Tienes que lavar tu coche; está sucísimo.You have to clean your car; it's extremely dirty. (adjective: sucio)
Habla suavísimo al bebé.Speak to the baby very softly. 
Los conciertos de la calle son ruidosísimos.Street concerts are the noisiest. (adjective: ruidoso)
Cristina conduce rapidísimo.Cristina drives really fast. 
Nos hemos comprado un apartamento con un salón amplísimo.We've bought an apartment with an extremely spacious living room. (adjective: amplio)
Ellos viven lejísimos del centro.They live really far from the centre.
Las preguntas del examen eran facilísimas.The questions in the exam were extremely easy.
Esos chicos son vulgarísimos. Están siempre diciendo palabrotas.Those boys are extremely vulgar. They're always swearing. (adjective: vulgar)
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