Student or Learner
A says: John is very helpful.
a. We need something more than helpful.
b. We need something which is more than helpful.
c. We need someone more than helpful.
d. We need someone who is more than helpful.
Which of the replies a-d are acceptable here?
Which are informal?
In which cases would you put 'helpful' in quotation marks?
The best of the lot is (a), but if I were saying something like this I would dispense with "someone" or "something" altogether and just say something like "We need (a lot) more than helpful (right now)! (We need a bloody miracle-worker!)"
If you were to put "helpful" in inverted commas, it would indicate that you were expressing sarcasm or doubt about John's helpfulness. That's dependent on the context of the conversation and not the grammar of your sentences, so I can't help you out with that.
[Not a teacher]