French Grammar from RapideFrench.com

Adjectives: Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

plus (superiority):

  • comparative: Harriet est plus grande que Henri means Harriet is taller than Henry
  • superlative: Harriet est la plus grande means Harriet is the tallest

moins (inferiority):

  • comparative: Harriet est moins forte que Henri means Harriet is less strong than Henri
  • superlative: Harriet est la moins forte means Harriet is the weakest (or least strong)

aussi (equality):

  • comparative: Harriet est aussi heureuse que Henry means Harriet is as happy as Henri

Exceptions are meilleur (better), le meilleur (the best), pire (worse) and le pire (the worst) because they don't need the plus i.e.

  • comparative: Harriet est meilleure que Henri means Harriet is better than Henri
  • superlative: Garmond est le pire means Garmond is the worst

Remember that most adjectives follow the noun. The comparative still goes directly before the noun and the superlative still has le, la, or les e.g.

  • un garçon plus drôle (a funnier boy)
  • la fille la plus drôle (the funniest girl)

This section is about adjectives, but is it is important to understand the difference between meilleur and mieux which both mean best. It is the same difference as between bon (good) and bien (well). meilleur and bon are adjectives whereas mieux and bien are adverbs (see Comparative and Superlative Adverbs). Here are some examples:

Un bon ami. (A good friend.)Elle parle bien anglais. (She speaks English well)
Il est le meilleur de la classe. (He is the best in the class.) Il travaille le mieux. (He works the best.)
Je suis meilleur au chant que toi. (I am better at singing than you.) Je chante mieux que toi. (I sing better than you.)

Finally, if the superlatively is used with 'in' (in the group, in the country, in the class) then de is used for 'in' (remember that du replaces 'de le') for example:

  • l'homme le plus fort du monde (the strongest man in the world)
  • la fille la plus forte de la classe (the strongest girl in the class)