Student or Learner
What does the following sentence exactly mean?
"He is the very best student in our class."
Does the "very" work as a degree modifier like "by far?"
No, it doesn't mean he is far better. It emphasizes that you mean "He's not only one of the top students, one of the best students, he is THE best student." But he may be ahead by only one point.
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.