During your Spanish learning journey, comparatives and superlatives are crucial to express differences and similarities between elements. These linguistic constructions allow you to calibrate magnitudes and qualities, giving precision to expressions and phrases.

Therefore, in this post you will learn everything you need to know and use comparatives and superlatives in Spanish. If you prefer to read this article in Spanish, you can do it in this link.

Comparatives in Spanish

Comparatives are grammatical structures that allow you to establish relationships of greater or lesser degree between two elements. These elements can be nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. Comparisons in Spanish are made by using specific words and structures.

In Spanish, comparatives are constructed in different ways depending on the type of words being compared. There are three main types of comparatives: equality, superiority, and inferiority.

Comparatives of equality

Comparatives of equality in Spanish are used to express two elements that have the same quantity or quality. The basic structure is composed of “tan” + adjective/adverb + “como”.  Although other formulas such as “igual de” + adjective/adverb + “que” or “lo mismo que” can also be used.

Here are some examples:

  • Juan es tan perspicaz como María (Juan is as sharp as María)
  • El coche es tan rápido como la moto (The car is as fast as the motorcycle)
  • La hormiga es tan lenta como la tortuga (The ant is as slow as the tortoise)
  • La entrada de cine cuesta lo mismo que la del teatro (The movie ticket costs the same as a theater ticket)
  • La tarta es igual de dulce que el flan (The cake is as sweet as the custard)

Comparatives of superiority

When you want to indicate that one element is superior in magnitude or quality to another, you can use the comparative of superiority. These are formed by using the word “más” with adjectives and adverbs of two or more syllables. Some examples are:

  • Este libro es más interesante que el anterior (This book is more interesting than the previous one)
  • María es más alta que Juan (Maria is taller than Juan)
  • El gato es más ágil que el perro (The cat is more agile than the dog)
  • Mi hermana es más organizada que yo (My sister is more organized than I am)
  • El clima en la costa es más agradable que en el interior del país (The weather on the coast is nicer than in the interior of the country)

Comparatives of inferiority

Finally, comparatives of inferiority indicate that one element is inferior in magnitude or quality to the other. They are constructed using the word “menos” with adjectives and adverbs of two or more syllables. Examples include:

  • Este ejercicio es menos complicado que el anterior (This exercise is less complicated than the previous one)
  • Juan es menos hábil que María (Juan is less skilled than Maria)
  • El invierno es menos cálido que el verano (Winter is less warm than summer)
  • Este coche es menos costoso que el que vimos ayer (This car is less expensive than the one we saw yesterday)
  • El examen de hoy fue menos difícil que el de la semana pasada (Today's test was less difficult than last week's test)

Special forms

Some adjectives and adverbs in Spanish have different forms to express degree or difference. These are the most common ones:

  • Mejor – bueno / bien
  • Peor - malo / mal
  • Mayor - grande / más viejo
  • Menor – pequeño / más joven

Superlatives in Spanish

Superlatives offer the possibility of expressing the highest, greatest, smallest, or most notable of a category, providing precision and emphasis to conversations. They are grammatical structures used to indicate the maximum magnitude or quality of a noun, adjective or adverb.

In Spanish, there are different ways of expressing the superlative, each adapted to the characteristics of the word being modified.

Absolute superlatives

These superlatives emphasize the quality in its highest degree without making comparisons. They are formed by adding the suffixes “-ísísimo”, “-ísima”, “-ísimos” or “-ísimas” to the adjective. For example:

  • Hermoso – Hermosísimo (Beautiful)
  • Rápido → Rápidísimo (Fast)

Some examples in sentences are:

  • El paisaje desde la montaña es bellísimo (The scenery from the mountain is beautiful)
  • Este postre está riquísimo (This dessert is delicious)
  • La tormenta fue intensísima anoche (The storm was very intense last night)

Relative superlatives

Relative superlatives compare an element with others of the same category, highlighting the most prominent or the least prominent. The words “más” and “menos” + “de” are used before the noun. Here are some example sentences:

  • Pablo es el más talentoso de todos los músicos (Pablo is the most talented of all the musicians)
  • Marta es la menos extrovertida de las amigas (Marta is the least extroverted of her friends)
  • Luis es el más alto de la clase (Luis is the tallest in the class)

Superlatives of inferiority

These superlatives indicate the maximum magnitude in the negative degree, highlighting the lesser quality or quantity. The words "más" and "menos" are used together with the noun. Some examples are:

  • Este libro es el más aburrido que he leído (This book is the most boring book I have ever read)
  • Luis es el menos comprometido con el proyecto (Luis is the least committed to the project)
  • Juan es el menos hábil en la cocina (John is the least skilled in the kitchen)
  • Esta clase es la menos interesante de toda la carrera (This class is the least interesting of the whole career)

Comparatives in Spanish not only enrich your expressive ability, but also reveal the subtleties and particularities of the language. From comparisons of equality to comparisons of superiority and superlatives, each grammatical construction brings nuances that contribute to more precise and enriching communication.

Although the differences between Spanish and your native language may be different, mastering these structures in Spanish brings you closer to an advanced command of the language. Learning Spanish in Spain with don Quijote's intensive Spanish courses will allow you to discover extraordinary cities and improve your command of the language in a short period of time.

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