Le plus and le moins = the most and the least (superlative of adverbs)

Look at these cases of adverbs in the Superlatif:

Marie chante le plus fort
Marie sings the loudest.

Marc est celui qui mange le plus bruyamment.
Marc is the one who eats the loudest.

Je suis celui qui a couru le moins vite.
I am the one who ran the least fast.

Cet ordinateur marche le moins bien.
This computer works the least well.

To form the Superlatif of adverbs, it is similar to the Superlatif of adjectives, EXCEPT that
you only use the definite article le plus / le moins (there is NO agreement with adverbs, as they have NO gender).

Jeanne parle le plus doucement.
Jeanne speaks the most softly.

You NEVER say  ''Jeanne parle la plus doucemente.''


Here are other Superlative structures:
Le, la, les plus and le, la, les moins = the most and the least (superlatives of adjectives)
Le plus and le moins = the most and the least (superlative of verbs)

Meilleur, mieux, pire / plus mauvais, plus mal = better, best, worse and worst (irregular comparatives and superlatives)

And Comparative structures:
Plus... plus..., moins... moins... = the more...the more..., the less...the less... (comparisons with phrases)
Better and better, worse and worse = de mieux en mieux, de pire en pire (comparisons)
De plus en plus and de moins en moins = more and more and less and less (comparisons with adjectives, adverbs, verbs)
De plus en plus de and de moins en moins de = more and more and less and less (comparisons of nouns)
Making comparisons with adjectives: plus... que, aussi... que, moins... que
Making comparisons with adverbs: plus... que, aussi... que, moins... que
Making comparisons with verbs: plus que, autant que, moins que
Making comparisons with nouns: plus de... que, moins de... que, autant de... que

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Marc est celui qui mange le plus bruyamment.
Marc is the one who eats the loudest.


Je suis celui qui a couru le moins vite.
I am the one who ran the least fast.


Je le ferai jeudi au plus tard.
I'll do it on Thursday at the latest.



Cet ordinateur marche le moins bien.
This computer works the least well.


Marie chante le plus fort
Marie sings the loudest.


Jeanne parle le plus doucement.
Jeanne speaks the most softly.


Q&A Forum 6 questions, 8 answers

LizC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

La plus vs le plus

c’est le résultat de l’entreprise qui affecté ... the most heavily and I wrote la plus lourdement since l thought the company was the most heavily affected. L’entreprise is feminine hence my use of la vs le. Why was this wrong? Thanks for your help!

Asked 3 months ago
AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Since "le plus lourdement" is an adverb, there is no agreement required. You always use "le" here.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

I guess it is the result that le plus refers to -- hence masculine. If used in an adverbial manner it is masculine in any case.

La plus vs le plus

c’est le résultat de l’entreprise qui affecté ... the most heavily and I wrote la plus lourdement since l thought the company was the most heavily affected. L’entreprise is feminine hence my use of la vs le. Why was this wrong? Thanks for your help!

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HeatherB1Kwiziq community member

In the example Il est celui qui mange le plus bruyamment, why is il est used instead of c’est?

I thought when être was followed by a noun or pronoun the subject would be c’est, like c’est mon fils or c’est la mienne. Isn’t celui also a pronoun? Is it because il is also the subject of the verb manger?

Asked 5 months ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Heather !

Indeed, the general rule is to use "c'est", and not "il est" here.This example has now been updated accordingly :)

Merci et bonne journée ! 

In the example Il est celui qui mange le plus bruyamment, why is il est used instead of c’est?

I thought when être was followed by a noun or pronoun the subject would be c’est, like c’est mon fils or c’est la mienne. Isn’t celui also a pronoun? Is it because il is also the subject of the verb manger?

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JudyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Note that to form the Superlative of adverbs, it is similar to the Superlative of adjectives, EXCEPT you only use the definite article le plus / le mo

Note that to form the Superlative of adverbs, it is similar to the Superlative of adjectives, EXCEPT you only use the definite article le plus / le moins (there is NO agreement with adverbs, as they have NO gender).  But one of the examples uses "au":Je le ferai jeudi au plus tard.
I'll do it on Thursday at the latest.
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Judy,

Au = à le, hence au plus tard = à le plus tard.

You see, "au" is just the definite article in disguise ;)

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Note that to form the Superlative of adverbs, it is similar to the Superlative of adjectives, EXCEPT you only use the definite article le plus / le mo

Note that to form the Superlative of adverbs, it is similar to the Superlative of adjectives, EXCEPT you only use the definite article le plus / le moins (there is NO agreement with adverbs, as they have NO gender).  But one of the examples uses "au":Je le ferai jeudi au plus tard.
I'll do it on Thursday at the latest.

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DianaC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Can you say either le plus fort or le plus fortement. Both can be adverbs I think

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Diana ! Actually, I can't think of an example where "fortement" would be used with the superlative form in French. I guess it's because "fortement" is used only in specific context (-> Je vous conseille fortement = I recommend strongly) which don't really work with superlative. "Fort" being used to say "loudly" or "hard", it's more likely to be used in the superlative: Je serre fort. Je serre le plus fort. I squeeze tight, I squeeze the tightest. I hope that's helpful!

Can you say either le plus fort or le plus fortement. Both can be adverbs I think

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JohnB2Kwiziq community member

“Le moins vite” or “le plus lent”

Is one form preferred over the other or is it a matter of personal choice/context?
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi John,

Actually in 'le moins vite''vite' being an adverb its equivalent would be 'le plus lentement', meaning the same thing emphasis being on speed or lack of it:

Arrivez à votre destination le moins vite possible ( or le plus lentement possible)

'Lent' and its opposite 'rapide' are both adjectives.

Here are some examples :

C'est la voiture la plus rapide au monde.

C'est le moyen de transport le plus lent au monde.

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
I guess that depends. The slowest would be "le plus lent", the least quick is "le moins vite". Usage would mostly be determined by context, I would say. -- Chris (not a native speaker).

“Le moins vite” or “le plus lent”

Is one form preferred over the other or is it a matter of personal choice/context?

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DeanC1Kwiziq community member

Peut-on utiliser "nettement" au lieu de "clairement?"

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Dean ! It depends on context: "clairement" is usually used to express clarification, to make a notion or an explanation clearer (more understandable), whereas "nettement" is more physical (I see more neatly), or to mark a rupture, a clear (clear cut) difference from before. "Tu as expliqué la leçon clairement." (You explained the lesson clearly.) "Mon résultat est nettement différent du tien." (My result is clearly different from yours.) If you gave me the context you're referring to, it would be easier for me to tall you for sure :) I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

Peut-on utiliser "nettement" au lieu de "clairement?"

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Getting that for you now.