Dutch Comparative and Superlative Forms of Adjectives

Learn how to form the comparative and superlative in Dutch

The Netherlands  Belgium  Suriname

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Dutch Comparative and Superlative Forms


Comparisons of equality use the expression even + adjective + als and it translates to "as + adjective + as."  In addition, you can use net zo + adjective + als to mean "as + adjective + as," but it is more emphatic.

dit hotel is even duur als de andere - this hotel is as expensive as the others

But note: zo veel mogelijk - as soon as possible / zo vlug mogelijk - as fast as possible

When comparing two things, the comparative form of the adjective is used.  It is formed in Dutch by adding -er to the adjective (or -der if the adjective ends in -r).  This is used for all adjectives; there is no "more + adjective" construction as there is for some adjectives in English.  Comparative adjectives add the -e ending for the inflection according to the requirements above; however, adjectives with three or more syllables do not.  When using comparative adjectives, dan translates as "than."

leuk - nice
leuker - nicer
vriendelijk - friendly
vriendelijker - friendlier

When expressing the highest degree of a quality or characteristic, the superlative form of the adjective is used.  Most adjectives add -st (or just -t if the adjective already ends in -s).  Since the -st ending does not add a syllable to the adjective, the spelling rules do not apply.  All superlatives are inflected like regular adjectives.  However, if the superlative adjective is a predicate adjective (follows "to be" and does not precede a noun), then het precedes it and the -e is optional.  With the superlative, van translates as "in" or "of."  In contrast to English, Dutch does use the superlative to compare two or more things.

leuk - nice
leukst -
het grootste huis
- the biggest house
de duurste kleren - the most expensive clothes
Hij is de oudste van de twee.  He is the older (literally: oldest) of the two.

For ease of pronunciation, adjectives ending in -st and -sch do not add -st to form the superlative, but use meest (most) before.

meest juist - most just
meest logisch - most logical

Don't forget the spelling changes when dealing with long and short vowels:

groot, groter, grootst - big, bigger, biggest
laat, later, laatst - late, later, latest

Some of the most common adjectives have irregular forms:

adjective good goed bad erg much veel little weinig
comparative better beter worse erger more meer less minder
superlative best best worst ergst most meest least minst



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