Oldest, Eldest or Latest?

Superlatives are words used for describing something or someone of the highest quality. Most superlatives end in the suffix “-est“; however, being  the ever-complex English language, there are exceptions. Other superlatives need to be preceded by “the most” or some other forms. I shall not elaborate on the rules (perhaps in a separate blog).

Well, let me make you more confused now. Do you know how these words are used? The words are oldest, eldest, latest?

  • eldest (adj.)oldest among three or more people
  • oldest (adj.)the biggest number in terms of age for people, animals and objects
  • * latest (adj.)the most recent, the most modern

Take Note:
Latest” does not mean “the most late“.


  1. Jimmy has five brothers and two sisters. He’s the eldest / oldest.
    Jimmy has a brother; Jimmy is the older (not the oldest) one.
  2. My Volkswagon is antique. It’s the oldest car in town.
  3. Peter has just bought the latest Nokia model at a special price.
  4. Did you get the latest news about the political situation here?

The newest is not necessarily the latest, but the latest is the newest. You can buy something new, but it may not be the latest model, design or fashion. 🙂


Posted on January 28, 2010, in Word Power and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Certainly more confused. So we ‘betterest’ do the ‘fasterest’ to catch up ‘soonerest’ or else we will be lagging. Thank you for showing the great common mistakes that we faced daily.

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