Portuguese Tips: Comparative and Superlative

By Prof. Claudia
In Portuguese, we use mais” for both more and most, the comparative and superlative, in English. Don`t confuse it with mas, which means but. Also, be careful with common errors such as “mais grande”. The correct way to say bigger in Portuguese is maior.

Activity 1 – Superlative
Have a look at the beginning of the song Pessoa, by Marina Lima:

“Olhar voc
E não saber
Que voc a pessoa mais linda do mundo…”

to look at you
yet not be aware
that you are the most beautiful person in the world



The expression “a pessoa mais linda do mundo” is a superlative, because there’s no one else more beautiful.

Activity 2 – Comparative
Now read this sentence:

O Monte Everest mais alto do que o Monte Fuji.
Mt Everest is higher than Mt Fuji

The expression “mais alto do que” is a comparative, because it is comparing two objects.


Here are more examples:
O estado da Bahia maior do que o estado do Cear.
Bahia state is bigger than Cear

Hoje o tempo est pior do que ontem.
The weather today is worse than yesterday


Activity 3 – Exceptions
Here are some “irregular” terms which don`t use mais in the comparative or superlative.


Check this table:

SuperlativeComparativeWrong usage
o (a) melhor The bestMelhor que better than
(Or melhor do que)
o (a) maior The biggestMaior que bigger than
(Or maior do que)
o (a) mais grande
o (a) pior The worstPior que worse than
(Or pior do que)
o (a) menor The smallestMenor que smaller than
(Or menor do que)
o (a) mais pequena


Attention:
In Portuguese, adjectives follow the noun, so they can be in the plural form, as in this example:
O Pantanal possui algumas das mais belas paisagens do Brasil.
The Pantanal has some of the most beautiful landscapes in Brazil


See you next class!
Prof. Cludia

Prof. Claudia is available for private classes in São Paulo. She can be contacted at claudiafmla@uol.com.br

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