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Welcome to the Grammar Gameshow! Test your knowledge in this crazy quiz! The presenter is a bit strange, the points don't make sense and the prizes could use some improvement, but at least the grammar is correct!

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Episode 21: Superlatives

So Liz claims victory again! She’s getting to be quite the contestant! But she’ll need all her knowledge this time. On this show the contestants challenge themselves on superlatives! Those comparative structures that tell us when something is outstanding in a particular way! Will Liz make it through again? Can you answer our questions? Who’s this rather important-looking character? Find out in this episode of the Grammar Gameshow!

Watch the video and then test yourself below with our quiz

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Will
Hello, and welcome to today’s Grammar Gameshow! I’m your host, Will! It’s what separates us from the beasts! And of course, let’s not forget Leslie, our all-knowing voice in the sky.

Leslie
Hello, everyone!

Will
Tonight we’re going to ask you three questions about…

Leslie
Superlatives! Those comparative structures that tell us when something is outstanding in a particular way!

Will
OK! Now, let’s meet our contestants!

Liz
Hello, all. My name’s Liz!

Will
And contestant number two?

Reginald
It’s nice to meet you. Reginald Fortescue Smythe the Third.

Will
It’s nice to see you again, Liz. This is the third in a row for you, eh? It’s going to be your hat trick! And Reginald…

Reginald
Fortescue Smythe the Third…

Will
Fortescue Smythe the Third… yes. So nice to have a little bit of blue blood around here. Makes a change from the riff-raff we usually get. Are you actually related to the royals?

Reginald
4962nd in line. Yes! I say! Eh, what what?

Will
What what?

Reginald
Exactly! Tally ho!

Will
OK! Let’s get going and don’t forget you can play along at home too. Our first round is a quick-fire round. I’m going to give you some adjectives and I want you to give me the superlative form. Ready? Posh.

Liz
Poshest.

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Strange.

Reginald
Strangest.

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Upper-class.

Liz
Most upper-class.

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Bad.

Reginald
Worst.

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Dopey.

Liz
Dopiest.

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Drab.

Reginald
Drabbest.

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Leslie?

Leslie
Jolly good! Superlatives are used when one thing or person in a group is outstanding in some way. To make a superlative, modify an adjective. If it has one syllable, add 'EST'. If it has two syllables, it may take 'EST' or 'most' or either! Check a dictionary. If it has three syllables or greater, we add ‘most’. The last group is irregular, such as ‘best’ and ‘worst’.

Will
Well done both of you! Have 15 points each.

Reginald
Hang on a moment… Now, I do hope none of those superlatives were directed at me, eh what what?

Will
At you, sir? Heaven forbid! I mean, you are blue blood after all.

Reginald
I like the cut of your jib, young lad, eh what what?

Will
Why, thank you, sir. Let’s move on to our second round. We often use the word ‘than’ in comparative sentences, but what ‘th’ word do we often use in superlative sentences?

Liz
We use ‘the’! Will is the best!

Leslie
Correct!

Will
Flattering and correct! Very good. Now, which other type of phrase commonly goes with a superlative?

Liz
A prepositional phrase. Will is the best person in the world!

Will
Stop it, you! This is the last question of this round. When do we use a prepositional phrase beginning with ‘of’?

Liz
Is it something to do with using a plural noun?

Will
Leslie?

Leslie
Well done! We almost always use ‘the’ in a superlative phrase. If we wish to define the superlative further with a group or place, we can use a prepositional phrase. If the place or group is singular, we usually use ‘in’. For example, …in the world. Before a plural, we can use ‘of’. For example, he’s the fastest of them all.

Will
Good work Liz… have twenty-eighty-sixy points for you.

Reginald
I say… should she be answering before me? I am royalty, you know!

Will
I’m sorry, sir… but she was quicker than you!

Reginald
But she’s… a member of the public, eh, what what?

Will
My apologies, but that’s the game, eh, where why? Let her have this one, eh, who who? I mean, she’s one of ‘those people’ after all.

Reginald
Ah, yes, of course. Eh, what what?

Will
Exactly, which which! On to our third round then! Which verb form can be used to complete all three of these sentences?
a) She’s the youngest person _______.
b) We need the best-qualified candidates _______.
c) This the most expensive coffee _______.

Liz
It’s the infinitive!

Reginald
Blast it all!

Will
Can you give me an example?

Liz
She’s the youngest person to fly around the world.

Will
Excellent. Leslie?

Leslie
Spot on, eh, what what! After a superlative, we can use an infinitive to further define the noun – much like a relative clause. For example, we need the best-qualified candidates to do the job.

Will
Well done Liz. Another sixty points for you. And that brings us to the end of today’s Grammar Gameshow. Let’s count out the points. And the winner is… Liz! With 4962nd in line for the throne points. Well done, Liz! Here’s what you’ve won!

Leslie
It’s a monkey statue!

Will
We’ll see you again next week, where you can play for another prize. And Reginald…

Reginald
Fortescue Smythe the Third…

Will
Fortescue Smythe the Third, yes. How does it feel to lose to the great unwashed?

Reginald
Oh, it’s not so bad. She put up a good fight. I do have one request, though.

Will
Yes?

Reginald
Do make sure they are the poshest animals you can find, please. Pure pedigree?

Will
I’ll do my best.

Reginald
Daddy always wanted me to fall in a war. For King and country!

Will
Release the extremely working-class bees, eh, what what? It looks like we’ll need another contestant. Thanks for joining us. Say goodbye Leslie

Leslie
Khodafez, Leslie!

Will
See you next time. 

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Superlatives

Superlatives are adjectives that we use when something is outstanding in a particular way. 
John is the fastest person I've ever seen.

Making superlatives
There are three types of superlative adjectives:
Type 1: one-syllable or some two-syllable adjectives - Add 'EST'
Type 2: some two-syllable adjectives and three or greater syllable adjectives - Add 'most'
Type 3: Irregular 

Be careful! There are many two syllable adjectives in English that can be correctly used as type one or type two superlatives!
Type 1: Will is the handsomest game show host.
Type 2: Will is the most handsome game show host.

Type 1 superlatives
If the adjective has one syllable, or is one of the certain group of two-syllable adjectives, add 'EST'. 
'fast' becomes 'fastest'
If the adjective ends in 'E', just add 'ST'
'nice' becomes 'nicest'
If the adjective has two syllables and ends in 'Y', change the 'Y' to an 'I' and add 'EST'
'happy' becomes 'happiest'
If the adjective ends in a single vowel followed by a consonant, double the consonant and add 'EST'
'hot' becomes 'hottest'

Type 2 superlatives
If the adjective has two syllables or greater, put 'most' before the adjective
boring becomes most boring

Type 3 superlatives
Some superlatives are irregular:
'good' becomes 'best'
'bad' becomes 'worst'
'far' becomes 'furthest'
'fun' becomes 'most fun'

The, in and of
In sentences we often precede a superlative with the word 'the'. If we wish to define the superlative further with a group or place, we can use a prepositional phrase. If the place or group is singular, we usually use ‘in’. For example, …in the world. Before a plural, we can use ‘of’. For example, he’s the fastest of them all.
It the coolest thing I've ever seen.
You're the most intelligent girl in the room.
He's the least friendly of them.

Infinitives
After a superlative, we can use an infinitive to further define the noun – much like a relative clause. 
She's the youngest person to complete the marathon.

To do

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The Grammar Gameshow Quiz

3 Questions

Test your grammar knowledge with the Grammar Gameshow quiz!

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Click on the links to download the audio and PDF document for this episode. 

More

That's all from Leslie and the contestants for this episode. Why not go to The Grammar Gameshow homepage to watch another one?