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    #1

    the most different

    1-These substances are of the most different colors and forms.

    What does that sentence really mean?
    That no two of them are in any way similar?
    Or that they cover the whole range of colors and forms?

    Gratefully,
    Navi,

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: the most different

    It's a poor sentence. Its meaning is not at all clear. Where did you find it?

  2. Champleon's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: the most different

    I'm not a Forum's teacher.
    I would incline to think that the sentence means both: That no two of them are in any way similar, and that they cover
    the whole range of colors and forms.

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    #4

    Re: the most different

    Thank you both very much.


    This is one example:


    http://books.google.com/books?id=cm4...and%22&f=false

    But there are many similar ones:

    https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&...urs%22&tbm=bks

    The first one (by Goethe, but it is a translation) is probably even less clear.

    I think the sentence does not really say what the writer wants it to say. I tend to think it is defective. I came across something like it and that is why I asked the question. It seemed very strange to me.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: the most different

    What are they and them?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: the most different

    These substances are of the most different colors and forms.
    I'm pretty sure that in the context of the first link this means "These substances are of very different and varying colors and forms". It's an assertion that they are not all the same. It doesn't literally mean "the most different". It's hyperbolic.
    It's similar to, "I do hope you can come to our party. We have the most interesting guests."

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: the most different

    Based on the links, "these substances" are probably different elements, crystals, and/or chemicals.

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    #8

    Re: the most different

    Thank you both very much.

    I think you are both correct. Whatever the substances may be, Raymott's interpretation seems correct, as far as I can see. The expression cannot be taken literally.

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

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    #9

    Re: the most different

    If they were the most different colours, wouldn't they be black and white?

  6. Champleon's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: the most different

    "That no two of them are in any way similar, and that they cover the whole range of colors and forms".
    The pronouns in bold type are taken from the navi tasan's post where the susbstances are referred to with those pronouns.
    Sorry for the delay.


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