Unit 11: Introduction to the subjunctive, commands, translation considerations (part 2)

11.8 Absolute Superlatives

When a very high degree of quality is expressed and no comparison is intended, Spanish employs the suffix –ísimo and its feminine and plural forms as the equivalent of “extremely” or “very (very).” (Those familiar with musical terminology from the Italian may recognize this ending to be almost identical to that of such words as “pianissimo” and “fortissimo,” among others.)

¿No crees que es una escritora de muchísimo talento? Don’t you believe she’s an extremely talented writer?
Adela se puso furiosísima. Adela became extremely furious.

There are a number of low frequency irregular absolute superlatives, all vestiges of Latin. One of the most common is pésimo (“extremely bad”) and most of the others end in –érrimo.


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