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    • Join Date: Aug 2005
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    Can something be "fuller" than "full"?

    I was translating a booklet of company policies a while back and came across the following clause:

    "Anyone found guilty of this will be subject to criminal prosecution to the full extent of the law".

    Since then I have also noticed the expression "to the fullest extent of the law".

    I used the term full extent since I felt nothing can be 'fuller than full', but is fullest also acceptable in legal jargon?


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    • Join Date: Feb 2005
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    Re: Can something be "fuller" than "full"?

    Hello Bill

    Yes, and in other contexts too. The superlative can also mean "the most X possible".

    Suppose a law allows a maximum sentence of 10 years. If the culprit is given a sentence of 8 years, he is not prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But 10 years is both "the full extent of the law" in absolute terms, and "the fullest extent of the law" relative to lesser sentences.

    All the best,



    Edit: illustration removed (it didn't work).

    • Join Date: Aug 2005
    • Posts: 250

    Re: Can something be "fuller" than "full"?

    Right, of course! I started thinking about it after I submitted my post and thought of expressions such as "the fullest possible extent", which indicates how close to a given maximum level one can get. In such a case, the comparative and superlative could be used.

    Thank you for the reply and explanation.

    Take care,


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