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  1. hai_lua_t2's Avatar
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    #1

    What do you like best (or the best)???

    Dear, Teachers!
    Last night I and my friends encountered a problem. We didn't know which sentences is right:
    1. What do you like best?
    2. What do you like the best?
    Can you explain it clearly and how to use it correctly? Thanks so much!

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    #2

    Exclamation Re: What do you like best (or the best)???

    Quote Originally Posted by hai_lua_t2 View Post
    Dear, Teachers!
    Last night I and my friends encountered a problem. We didn't know which sentences is right:
    1. What do you like best?
    2. What do you like the best?
    Can you explain it clearly and how to use it correctly? Thanks so much!
    The first sentence is correct. It means: what do you prefer mostly(about some body/something). Here ‘best’ functions as an adverb being the superlative form of 'well' (well better best)modifying the verb ‘like’. So use of ‘the’ before it is incorrect, because it is not modifying any noun as the superlative form of adjective ‘good’

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    #3

    Re: What do you like best (or the best)???

    It means: what do you prefer mostly(about some body/something).
    Shouldn't that be: what do you prefer the most?

  2. hai_lua_t2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: What do you like best (or the best)???

    Why the sentence: "She run the fastest" is right. I think it is similar with the sentence: "What do you like the best?" I don't till understand them clearly. what is the difference?

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    #5

    Exclamation Re: What do you like best (or the best)???

    Quote Originally Posted by hai_lua_t2 View Post
    Why the sentence: "She ran the fastest 400 meter in the race." is right. I think it is similar with the sentence: "What do you like the best?" I don't till understand them clearly. what is the difference?
    It is possible only if ‘the fastest’ is followed by a noun to be described in superlative degree. Here are two sentences copied from a sports article by CNN.com
    Wind helps Gay to run fastest 100 meters
    Tyson Gay ran a wind-assisted 9.68 seconds for the fastest 100 meters of all time


    You can see this at:Wind helps Gay to run fastest 100 meters - CNN.com

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    #6

    Re: What do you like best (or the best)???

    Quote Originally Posted by hai_lua_t2 View Post
    Dear, Teachers!
    Last night I and my friends encountered a problem. We didn't know which sentences is right:
    1. What do you like best?
    2. What do you like the best?
    Can you explain it clearly and how to use it correctly? Thanks so much!
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, hai lua.

    (1) Yes, it is confusing, isn't it!

    (2) It is ONLY my opinion that both sentences are "correct."

    (3) For example, if someone offers you a choice of three books, s/he might ask, "Which book do you like best?/the best?

    (4) "...like best" is, of course, perfect English.

    (5) "...THE best" is also perfect English in conversation and also in much writing.

    (a) One book gives these examples from two famous British writers:

    (i) Of all my books I like this the best. -- Mr. Charles Dickens.

    (ii) My father liked this the best. -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

    (6) I think that you and your friends can say "What do you like best?" and "What do you like the best?" with complete confidence that you are speaking "good" English.

    *****

    (7) Some native speakers say that the REALLY "good" English should be: What do you like most?/ What do you like the most?

    (a) They explain that "most" is the superlative of "much": I very much like A./ I like A more than I like B./ I like C most/the most of all three.

    (b) Some people remind us that "best" is the superlative of "well": Tom speaks French well./He speaks Russian better than French./ He speaks Chinese best/the best of all three.

    Have a nice day!

  3. kfredson's Avatar

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    #7

    Re: What do you like best (or the best)???

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, hai lua.

    (1) Yes, it is confusing, isn't it!

    (2) It is ONLY my opinion that both sentences are "correct."

    (3) For example, if someone offers you a choice of three books, s/he might ask, "Which book do you like best?/the best?

    (4) "...like best" is, of course, perfect English.

    (5) "...THE best" is also perfect English in conversation and also in much writing.

    (a) One book gives these examples from two famous British writers:

    (i) Of all my books I like this the best. -- Mr. Charles Dickens.

    (ii) My father liked this the best. -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

    (6) I think that you and your friends can say "What do you like best?" and "What do you like the best?" with complete confidence that you are speaking "good" English.

    *****

    (7) Some native speakers say that the REALLY "good" English should be: What do you like most?/ What do you like the most?

    (a) They explain that "most" is the superlative of "much": I very much like A./ I like A more than I like B./ I like C most/the most of all three.

    (b) Some people remind us that "best" is the superlative of "well": Tom speaks French well./He speaks Russian better than French./ He speaks Chinese best/the best of all three.

    Have a nice day!
    I agree. The use of "best" and "the best" have become fully interchangeable. Some writers prefer to remove all words that are not absolutely necessary -- and I commend them for their efforts to remove the extra word "padding" that often appears in modern English -- but "the best" and "the most" are so common that most people would not even notice the "extra" word.

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    #8

    Re: What do you like best (or the best)???

    I think "what do you like best" is grammatically correct.
    - As sarat_106 said: "Here ‘best’ functions as an adverb being the superlative form of 'well' modifying the verb ‘like’.
    - "the best" is a noun
    Have a look at the following sentences:
    What do you like best?
    What is the best?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (i) Of all my books I like this the best. -- Mr. Charles Dickens.
    ==> like "what" ==> like "this" ==> correct,
    ==> like "how" ==> like "best"
    We can rewrite this sentence as:" Of all books I like this which is the best"
    (ii) My father liked this the best. -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
    Same as the above sentence.....
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, In fact, both of them are used (and this is alright)....

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