Superlative forms of adjectives

Collage of woman tennis players: Agnieszka Radwanska, Li Na, Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams

(Tennis) lesson on superlative forms of adjectives

In case you missed it, I also used a tennis lesson to review comparative adjectives:

Rafael Nadal is a better tennis player than Novak Djokovic. Or is Novak better? We can debate that all day but one thing is for sure:

Compared to Novak and Rafael, I am the worst player. Oh well, compared to them I’m the best English speaker! ;)

So, you may have guessed that today’s lesson is on the superlative. This time we’ll look at some top-ranked women’s tennis players.

Grammar review: Superlative forms of adjectives

We use the superlative to compare something with everything else in a group. They are used to describe extremes.

     Playing tennis on a boat in front of a glacier is the coolest (and coldest) tennis venue.

     There are so many beautiful women’s tennis players but who is the most beautiful?

How to make the superlative form of adjectives

the is used before the superlative adjective.

One syllable  adjectives, add –est:



the tallest

the longest

– Spelling note: one syllable adjectives that end with one consonant, double the final consonant and add –est.


the biggest

– Adjectives ending in –e, just add –st


the nicest

– Adjectives that end in y, drop the y and add –iest


the prettiest

– Adjectives with two or more syllables, add most before the adjective.


the most important

– And our favorites, the irregular superlative adjectives



the best

the worst

Quiz:  Superlative forms of adjectives

Ready to practice?

The next exercises will compare four of the top-ranked female tennis players at the end of 2013. We’ll also learn some interesting tennis facts.

Part 1 of Quiz:

Refer to the table above. Fill in the blanks using the correct adjective or superlative form.

     Example:  Serena Williams is the __________ (old / young) player.

     Answer:    Serena Williams is the oldest player.

1.  The second ______________________ (old / young) player is Li Na.

2.  At 6’0? (1.83 m), Victoria Azarenka is the _______________________ (short / tall) player.

3.  Agnieszka Radwanska is the __________________ (light / heavy) player and Serena Williams is the  (light / heavy) player.

4. They all earned a lot of money in 2013, but the ______________________ (rich / poor) player in terms of prize money was Serena Williams.

5. The player with the _________________________ (good / bad) win/loss record was Serena Williams.

6. The player with the _____________________  (good / bad) win/loss record was Agnieszka Radwanska but that’s just comparing her to this group. Compared to all of the women’s tennis players she was one of the top players in 2013!


Some interesting tennis facts:  Fill in the blanks with the correct comparative adjective or superlative form.  (If you don't know the comparative adjectives then click here to learn them).

1. The  ____________________________ (more expensive/ most expensive) tickets you can buy are for Center Court at Grand Slam tournaments.

2. Venus Williams clocked the _______________ (faster / fastest) serve in women’s tennis at 205 km/hour. She’s served _________________________  (faster / fastest) than many men!

3. The _________________________ (longer / longest) tennis match in history was played by John Isner and Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon and lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes.

The _________________  (longer/longest) women’s match played by Vicki Nelson and Jean Hepner was “only” 6 hours 31 minutes. The women’s match was ___________________ (short/shorter) than the men’s match.

But here’s an interesting fact: The women’s match has the record for the _______________________ longer/longest) point in professional tennis history. There were 643-shots in the rally and the point lasted 31 minutes!

4. At 39 years, 7 months, Billie Jean King is the_________________ (older / oldest) singles title winner on the WTA Tour (Birmingham 1983).

5. The US Open’s Arthur Ashe Stadium seats 26,200 spectators! It’s the _____________ (larger/ largest) tennis stadium in the world. Football stadiums are usually much _______________ (larger/ largest) though.

6. The _____________________ (importantest / most important) tennis tournaments are the Grand Slams.

Quiz Answers

Part 1

1. oldest

2. tallest

3. lightest, heaviest

4. richest

5. best

6. worst

Part 2

1. most expensive

2. fastest, faster

3. longest, shorter, longest

4. oldest

5. largest, larger

6. most important

Your turn

How did you do on the quiz?  Are you a tennis fan?  Do you watch other sports?  Tell me something interesting about sports using comparative or superlative forms of adjectives.

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