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  1. #1
    naweewra is offline Member
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    Default Superlative adverbs: do we still need "the"?

    Hello,

    With the superlative adjective, we need "the" before the adjective.

    She is the most beautiful girl in the room.

    What about superlative adverbs? I have seen both (with and without "the") on grammar websites and books. How are they really by native speakers?

    She sings (the) most beautifully.

    I seem to remember from my school years that "most" when used alone (without "the") means 'very'.

    You are most kind.

    If that is really the case, then without "the", "most" isn't a superlative form, right (or wrong)?

    Thank you.

    Nawee

  2. #2
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Superlative adverbs: do we still need "the"?

    There are essentially two cases in which a superlative adjective or adverb can occur without 'the'.

    One is, as you have mentioned, when 'most' is simply functioning as a rather formal synonym of 'very'.

    The other is when the implicit comparison is not between one individual and others, but rather between what might be termed different 'manifestations' of the same individual, e.g.

    Tom sings best first thing in the morning.

    does not compare Tom's singing with that of others, but simply Tom's singing in the morning with his own singing at other times of day.

    Very often, this second case is marked by the use of a prepositional expression such as 'at (my) best'.

  3. #3
    naweewra is offline Member
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    Default Re: Superlative adverbs: do we still need "the"?

    In these two cases, they are still considered a superlative form? If "most" just means 'very', then it doesn't have the "superlative" meaning, does it?

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