Student or Learner
I have a question regarding the following sentence:
I know Tom (the) best.
I am aware of the fact that I can use or leave out "the" if I want to convey the meaning that I know Tom better than anybody else does, but supposing I wished
to express the meaning that I know Tom better than I do anyone else, would "the" still be possible or could we just use "best"? Lots of thanks in advance and
a happy new year to all of you from Bavaria.
'I know Tom best of all' avoids any doubt.
(1) I was fascinated by your question because that matter has always
confused me, too.
(2) I took a chance and googled "know him best definite article," and one
of the results was a 1920 scholarly journal entitled Neophilologus.
(3) It had this most [very!!!] interesting observation:
The use or omission of the definite article [by good writers]
is [evidently] entirely conditioned by Rhythm.
(a) The writer says that rhythm requires the article in:
"We all liked Lady Glenmire the best."
(b) The writer says that rhythm requires its omission in:
"Left by all his friends and those who know him best."
***** NOT A TEACHER *****