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  1. engee30's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain

    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 2,828
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    #1

    Unhappy better/best vs. worse/worst

    Hullo,
    I know that if I want to express my 'positive' preference I can say like this:

    A: Which book did you like better? (there are two books in context)
    B: The one dealing with the history of art.

    A: Which American writer do you like best? (there are more than two writers in context)
    B: I think it's John Grisham.

    And what if I want to indicate my 'negative' preference? Is it possible for me to use 'worse' and 'worst' respectively?

    A: Which book didn't you like worse?
    B: The one dealing with the Second World War.

    A: Which subject don't you like worst?
    B: I don't know, maybe Maths.

  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,553
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    #2

    Re: better/best vs. worse/worst

    No, sorry. Partly, that's because when you use a negative, it starts to get a bit complicated: Is "I don't like it the worst" a sort of double negative? (Slavic languages allow double negatives; formal English interprets double negatives as positives.)

    Use a positive verb, and use more/most or less/least as appropriate:

    Which book did you like less?
    Which book did you dislike/hate more?

    Which subject do you like the least?
    Which subject do you dislike/hate the most?

  3. engee30's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Great Britain

    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 2,828
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: better/best vs. worse/worst

    That's true - Slavic languages allow double negatives, just like it is in my mother tongue, which is Polish. Thank you for your explanation.

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