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  1. MASM's Avatar
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    #1

    Wink better/best

    Good morning to all!

    I was trying an exercise on comparatives and the sentence was: "Which one do you like (good), fish or meat?" The answer was "better", but I've also seen "best", for example in "You know best" but we can also say, and I guess it's more common: "You know better".

    I was wondering if there's any difference or if "best" is not correct in any of the sentences.

    Thank you!

    xxx
    Last edited by MASM; 15-Apr-2010 at 16:36.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: better/best

    Quote Originally Posted by MASM View Post
    Good morning to all!

    I was trying an excercise on comparatives and the sentence was: "Which one do you like (good), fish or meat?" The answer was "better", but I've also seen "best", for example in "You know best" but we can also say, and I guess it's more common: "You know better".

    I was wondering if there's any difference or if "best" is not correct in any of the sentences.

    Thank you!

    xxx
    If you only have 2 items in the list, then one is "better" and one is "worse". Had there been 3 choices, you could have "worst" and "best" with the other one being simply "good" or "bad".

    Meat or fish. Which one is better?
    Meat, fish or vegetables. Which one is best?

  3. MASM's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: better/best

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    If you only have 2 items in the list, then one is "better" and one is "worse". Had there been 3 choices, you could have "worst" and "best" with the other one being simply "good" or "bad".

    Meat or fish. Which one is better?
    Meat, fish or vegetables. Which one is best?
    Thank you, that makes sense... so, in the construction: Which one do like better, fish or meat? we use "better", but if there are more: " Which one do you like best, meat, fish or vegetables?. Am I right?

    What about, "you know better" and "you know best"?

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    #4

    Re: better/best

    Quote Originally Posted by MASM View Post
    Good morning to all!

    I was trying an excercise on comparatives and the sentence was: "Which one do you like (good), fish or meat?" The answer was "better", but I've also seen "best", for example in "You know best" but we can also say, and I guess it's more common: "You know better".

    I was wondering if there's any difference or if "best" is not correct in any of the sentences.

    Thank you!

    xxx

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Good morning, MASM:

    (1) Of course, I am NOT sure, but I THINK some very strict teachers would suggest that you use the adverb "much." (much/more/most)

    (2) I very MUCH like fish. (How much do you like fish?)


    I like fish MORE (than I like meat).

    I like fish the MOST (of the three or more choices).

    (3) As I understand it, the adverb "well" (well, better, best) should be reserved for HOW you do something. But in your sentence, you are saying HOW MUCH you like something.

    (4) For example, older people like me enjoy newspapers the most. It is absolutely true, of course, that many native speakers say:

    Newspapers? TV? The Internet? Well, I like the Internet the best.

    (a) But I think that strict teachers call for "most" or "the most."

    (5) Perhaps the adverb "well" should be reserved for how you DO something:

    (a) I play the piano well.

    (b) I play the piano better than Mona.

    (c) I play the piano (the) best of all the students in my class.

    (6) I notice that you wrote: Which one do you like (good), fish or meat.
    I think that "good" is an adjective. But since you need something to match the verb "like," perhaps you need the adverb "much."

    (7) Maybe "good" would be correct if you needed something to match nouns: Which one is (good): fish or meat? Fish is better than meat. Fish is the best of all the choices on the table.

    Let's see what others can teach you and me.

    Have a nice day!

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: better/best

    Sometimes, the phrase "You know best" is a tiny bit sarcastic, or at least, uses some hyperbole, to imply that "You know better than anyone else in the world" which would mean "You know best."

    At least, it would mean "of all the people likely to have input on this, yours is the best."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. MASM's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: better/best

    Thanks to you all!

    The sentence came up in an activity about comparatives and superlatives,where you are supposed to put "good" into its superlative or comparative form.

    I'm confused by the construction: "Which one do you like better/best, fish or meat?", because they both sound OK to me.
    They can be asking what I like better in that moment or if as a general rule I prefer fish or meat as the best option.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: better/best

    Quote Originally Posted by MASM View Post
    Thanks to you all!

    The sentence came up in an activity about comparatives and superlatives,where you are supposed to put "good" into its superlative or comparative form.

    I'm confused by the construction: "Which one do you like better/best, fish or meat?", because they both sound OK to me.
    They can be asking what I like better in that moment or if as a general rule I prefer fish or meat as the best option.
    If they were asking which one you prefer "at that moment", then the question would simply be "Which one would you like (to eat)? Meat or fish?"

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  1. better/best vs. worse/worst
    By engee30 in forum Ask a Teacher
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