In the below examples:

Sophie est moins sérieuse que les autres.

Sophie est la plus grande de la classe.

  • Why is the former comparative and the latter superlative? Is is related to the preposition "de" and "que"?
  • As far as I know, in superlative form there should not be a reference, am I right? If yes, why the latter has one?

1 Answer 1


Yes, in superlative form, there is no reference. But in your example, de la classe isn't a reference but a restriction. You can also say:

"Sophie est la plus grande."

It's still in superlative form.

  • You can spot a comparative form when the preposition que is present and introducing a reference.
  • You can spot a superlative form when an article (le, la or les) is present just before the comparison. In your example, it's la (la plus grande).

The preposition de (or others) introducing a restriction is optional and can be present in comparative form too:

"Sophie est plus grande que les autres dans ce groupe."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.