Double Superlative

What Is a Double Superlative?

homesitemapA-Z grammar terms double superlative
A double superlative is a grammar mistake caused by applying two ways of forming a superlative instead of one. Double superlatives are most commonly committed when someone uses "-est" and "most" at the same time (e.g., most tallest).

Table of Contents

  • Examples of Double Superlatives
  • Avoiding Double Superlatives
  • Why Understanding "Double Superlatives" Is Important
  • Test Time!
double superlative example

Examples of Double Superlatives

  • He is the most wisest. wrong cross
  • (should be wisest)
  • She is the most quickest. wrong cross
  • (should be quickest)

Avoiding Double Superlatives

The rules for forming the superlatives of adjectives are summarized in the table below.
Type of AdjectiveExampleRuleExample
one syllablestrongadd -eststrongest
one syllable ending vowel consonantbigdouble consonant and add -estbiggest
more than one syllablefamousprecede with less or moremore famous
less famous
more than one syllable ending ysillyremove y and add -ier
for the less version, precede with less
less silly
There are no
A superlative is created by applying one of these rules (the appropriate one) to your adjective. A double superlative (which is a serious grammar mistake) is created by apply two of the rules.
  • He is the most silliest person I know. wrong cross
  • (should be silliest)
  • She is our most best player. wrong cross
  • (should be best)
  • It's the worstest meal I've ever eaten. wrong cross
  • (should be worst)
The examples above are all double superlatives of adjectives. Occasionally, you see double superlatives with adverbs too.
  • I tried most hardest. wrong cross
  • (should be hardest)

Why Understanding "Double Superlatives" Is Important

Double superlatives are more common in speech than in writing. In speech, they can often be written off as a moment of absentmindedness, but, in writing, a double superlative is a credibility-bashing grammar howler. Read more about forming superlatives.

Key Point

author logo

This page was written by Craig Shrives.

You might also like...

Help us improve...

Was something wrong with this page?

Use #gm to find us quicker.

Create a QR code for this, or any, page.

confirmatory test

This test is printable and sendable

green heart logo