Il superlativo assoluto

Absolute superlative

Bellissimo! might be what you would say when admiring Michelangelo’s David or a breathtaking view in the Dolomites.  Bellissimo means very beautiful, extremely beautiful: the suffixes -issimo / -issima / -issimi / -issime take the place of very and extremely.  Consider the examples:

Il panorama di qui è bellissimo. [The landscape from here is very beautiful.]

I camerieri in questo ristorante sono gentilissimi. [The waiters in this restaurant are very kind.]

La prenotazione è stata facilissima. [The reservation was very easy to make.]

Le camere da letto di questo albergo sono grandissime. [The rooms in this hotel are very big.]

To form this superlative, simply drop the last letter of the adjective, as in bello → bell; gentile → gentil, etc., and add the -issimo / -issima / -issimi / -issime forms.

You can also use this superlative for adverbs, such as beneben → benissimo,  and male → mal → malissimo.

Notice that:

  • there are a few special forms: ottimo is a synonym of buonissimo, and pessimo is a synonym of cattivissimo.
  • you cannot use this superlative for adjectives that already have a very strong meaning, such as delizioso, fantastico, meraviglioso, stupendo, orribile and terribile.
  • you can either say molto + adjective or adjective + –issimo, but you cannot combine the two forms and say molto gentilissimo, for example.

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Spunti: Italiano elementare 2 by Daniel Leisawitz and Daniela Viale is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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