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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Superlatives and preposition problem

    Thanks for this forum providing me chances to learn English more effectively.
    I’d like to ask several questions as I am quite confused with the meaning with the following sentence:

    1.“The finest of the big houses in this place were in darkness.”
    Does “finest” mean the only one finest house among these big houses? Why the sentence use ’were’ instead of ‘was’ here?

    2. “This event occurred one New Year Eve, two years on.”
    Does it mean that the event occurred after two years, at New Year Eve?

    3.“Peter spent days sneering at their proposals. Or so John said in, and out of, the workplace.”
    What does ‘or so’ mean??Does the sentence mean that John repeatedly talks about Peter’s behavior in the workplace and outside workplace?

    Thank you in advance!

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    #2

    Re: Superlatives and preposition problem

    The answer to #2 is yes, but on (not at) New Year's Eve.

    Please ask unrelated questions in separate threads, alicee, with a title relevant to each, such as The finest of the big houses and Peter spent days sneering...

    Extract from the Posting Guidelines:

    'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'




    You don't need to thank us in advance. Just click Thank when you get a useful reply.

  2. Roman55's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Superlatives and preposition problem

    I am not a teacher.

    In answer to your question 1. you should bear in mind that superlatives are not marked for the plural.

    Therefore "finest" could refer to one or more things, and it's the verb that will tell us which it is.

    “The finest of the big houses in this place were in darkness.” clearly means that the writer is referring to the class of "finest big houses" which contains more than one house.

    Had the sentence been, "“The finest of the big houses in this place was in darkness.” we would know that there is only one finest big house and not a group of equally fine big houses.

  3. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: Superlatives and preposition problem

    Thanks teacher Rover_KE for your kind reminder and answer.

    Also, thank you Roman55 for the explanation.
    For sentence 1, I have something that would like to ask further.

    “The finest of the big houses in this place were in darkness"
    In this sentence, can I understand like that: There are a group of exquisite big houses here and all of them were in darkness?

    Besides, I want to know what is the function of ‘of’ in this sentence? Can it be omitted?
    Last edited by alicee; 08-Mar-2014 at 12:50. Reason: amendment of some writing mistakes

  4. Roman55's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Superlatives and preposition problem

    I am not a teacher.

    Yes, all of the big houses that are considered as the "finest" were in darkness.

    If you omit "of" you must also omit "the". "The finest big houses…"

    You do know that "wanna" isn't a word, don't you? And only one question mark is required at a time.

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