Spanish superlative adjectives: “buenísimo…”, “carísimo…”

superlative adjectives buenisimo carisimo

In Spanish, we use adjectives to exaggerate a simple word, that is the case of “buenísimo” and “carísimo“. Most of the time, we put an “-simo” at the end of the word. It is easier in Spanish to complement a word with a superlative like “-simo” or “-ísimo”. “Carísimo” and “buenísimo” are some words known as “superlative adjectives”. They magnify what we are saying, just like “very”, “too”, or “more” in English.

Spanish-speaking people, in general, tend to have a quite cheerful and expressive culture. In Latin America, they love to express ideas using many words and body language. Also, they make fun of themselves.

Most of the time, they use these expressions like “carísimo” and “buenísimo” even in situations where they might not be necessary. If you want to learn how to use them properly and how to know when it’s the right time to take advantage of these words, keep reading.

How to use “carísimo”

In Spanish, we use “carísimo” to magnify the word “caro” which means expensive. In other words, we might use “carísimo” if something is high-priced or costs a lot of money.

Let’s take a look at the following example.

Ella le dio un reloj carísimo.

She gave him a very expensive watch.

As you can see, we are using the expression to emphasize how much it cost. We put the superlative suffix “-ísimo” at the end, after the noun and the verb. We are changing the expression that comes from a normal tone to a very high one.

The formula for this situation may look like this below:

Subject + verb + noun + superlative (word+suffix).

“Carísimo” is often applied to things with very high prices, such as luxury cars. But we also use it to describe things whose price or cost is high compared to others. If we want to say the superlative word “carísimo” in a negative sentence, it’s a bit different.

Let’s see a few examples:

No, eso no era carísimo como me habías dicho antes.

No, that was not very expensive as you told me before.

In this case, the superlative we used to raise the cost of the price wasn’t true. If we want to use the superlative in negative sentences, we have to do it in response to other sentences. This is not a rule, but when we say something is “carísimo”, it’s because we are speaking only to express a cost.

Now, let’s see some other examples:

Pero esto cuesta mucho dinero. ¡Es carísimo!

But that costs a lot of money. It’s very expensive!

Este sitio tiene que ser carísimo, mira la decoración.

This place must be very expensive, look at the decoration.

How to use “buenísimo”

In Spanish, “buenísimo” is an expression we can use for almost everything. We can say something is “buenísimo” when we eat and when something seems very good to us. We also can say it when we love an idea.

In other words, the term “buenísimo” means that something is very good. However, if you are wonderstruck or like something, you can say so too. “Buenísimo” is the Spanish word for very good, fantastic, and amazing. Sometimes, it can also be an alternative to excellent. We can even use “buenísimo” like “handsome” or “beautiful” when referring to a person.

By looking at the following example:

Este libro es buenisimo.

This is a tremendous book.

We can say that the formula we generally use is the following:

Subject + verb + superlative (word+suffix)

We can use “buenísimo” as an expression or an emotion. Depending on the context, you can even use “buenísimo” to qualify things like food, articles, people, and many other things.

An example of that would look like this:

¡La pasta que nos comimos estaba buenísima!

The paste we ate was very good!

Eso es buenísimo para él.

That is great for him.

Ok, buenísimo, le haré saber.

Ok, great, I’ll let him know.

As you can see, “buenísimo” is a wonderful expression to refer to all kinds of things in our daily lives. With that being said, it isn’t a surprise that it also works when we want to say that we like something a lot, be it ideas, praising a person, or something else.

“Buenisimo” against “carísimo”

Even though “buenísimo” and “carísimo” are opposite words, we can say that “buenísimo” has a lot of advantages over “carísimo”. This is because we use the word for almost everything. Different from “carísimo”, which we only use when something is very expensive.

People in general love to use “buenísimo” over “carísimo” because it has more features. For example, it’s a common expression in Latin America. “Buenísimo” can be similar to expressions like “oh, that’s amazing!”, “we had a great night” or even “you have a good body”.

People like it so much, because of the different meanings that the word gives us. Still, that doesn’t mean that “carísimo” isn’t a useful word that can help us save the day. Since “carísimo” have just one meaning, we are limited to using the expression. Consequently, native speakers use them less often.


In summary, we cannot use this suffix like “-ísimo” by itself because it has no meaning. If we want to use the suffix in a sentence to express ourselves, we have to add a word before it and build a superlative. Today, we just learned how to use two superlative adjectives but there are a bunch of other words like these ones.

Suffixes are grammar tools that we put at the end of some word to build a new one and express a different idea or degree. Sometimes, certain suffixes do not sound good or do not give coherence to the phrase or the things we want to say in Spanish. So, be careful with that.

Although using suffixes to build new words might make your vocabulary become more “complex”, they are good to enhance communication and provide more details. Keep in mind that by changing the ending of a word, you can give different functions to ordinary expressions.

Don’t hesitate to start practicing and using these words to give your opinion. After all, you may even be mistaken for a native Spanish speaker.



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