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:

Superlative Comparative Wrong usage
o (a) melhor The best Melhor que better than
(Or melhor do que)
o (a) maior The biggest Maior que bigger than
(Or maior do que)
o (a) mais grande
o (a) pior The worst Pior que worse than
(Or pior do que)
o (a) menor The smallest Menor que smaller than
(Or menor do que)
o (a) mais pequena

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

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