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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 41

    the very best student

    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?"

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218

    Re: the very best student

    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.

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