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  1. #1
    Benson Huang is offline Newbie
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    Question meaning of "the best of any"

    Hi,

    My English level is between CERF B2 and C1. I got confused when I analyzed the sentence blow in grammar aspect.

    Soni Ltd. is delighted to announce the Humbro, the vehicle with the best fuel consumption rating of any car in its class.

    I prefer to say "be the best of all cars" or "better than any car".

    For me, "the best fuel consumption rating of any car" means, if you randomly pick out some cars, then each car has its best fuel consumption rating.

    Otherwise, it will be "the best fuel consumption rating of all cars", which means you compared the fuel consumption rating of all the cars and choose the best one.

    So for the first case, it means at the moment, you only pick out one car(the meaning of "any"), and you got a best fuel consumption. And you randomly choose ten cars, you may get ten kinds of rating.

    So "the vehicle with the best fuel consumption rating of any car in its class" means this vehicle has ten best fuel consumption ratings, which is really confusing.

    Could anyone please explain this in grammar aspect for me?

    I asked some native speaker but they just reply "Oh it means even though you randomly choose a car, the vehicle still has a better fuel consumption rating than the chosen one" and they were not aware of that they use comparative but not Superlative....

  2. #2
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: meaning of "the best of any"

    Hello Benson, and welcome to the forum.
    1- Please always cite properly the source of any text you quote.

    2- I see that the same question has been doing the rounds on the internet and has been asked a while back on at least one other forum.
    https://forum.wordreference.com/thre...tence.3347574/
    I don't think it was you who asked the question, but if it was, please let us know.

    3- That phrasing is quite natural in English. Native speakers do not parse it in the way you suggested above. "of any car in its class" means it is the best (when it comes to fuel efficiency) compared to other cars in its class.

    4- Please pay attention to your spelling (e.g. "blow" should be "below"), do not capitalize ordinary nouns (e.g. "superlative") unnecessarily and write shorter sentences.
    Last edited by teechar; 20-Jan-2021 at 09:45.

  3. #3
    Benson Huang is offline Newbie
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    Re: meaning of "the best of any"

    1- This sentence is excerpted from a TOEIC mock test book written by Korean.

    2-Of course not, why do I ask the same question again three years later?

    3- I feel sorry that many native speakers lost the ability to analyze sentences from a grammar aspect. Are you one of them?
    Some phrases like"long time no see" are grammatically incorrect but normally used in daily English. I think they are worth discussion, so is the one I mentioned.
    The most regretful thing is that you just said "Oh it's natural for a native speaker", which means you give up the chance to think.

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: meaning of "the best of any"

    Insulting the people who volunteer their time here to help you is not a winning strategy.

  5. #5
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: meaning of "the best of any"

    Thanks Dave. I've just issued the OP with a deserved infraction and warned him that he will get banned if he does that again. I suspect he's a troll or a trouble maker.

  6. #6
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: meaning of "the best of any"

    Quote Originally Posted by Benson Huang View Post
    1- That sentence is excerpted from a TOEIC mock test book written by a Korean.

    2-Of course not. Why would I ask the same question again three years later?

    3- I feel sorry that many native speakers lost the ability to analyze sentences from a grammar aspect.

    You'll get over it.

    Are you one of them?

    That's a silly question. Most of us never had that ability, so there's nothing to lose. We learned English by ear, not by studying rules.


    Some phrases, like [space] "long time no see," are grammatically incorrect but normally used in daily English.

    That's not ungrammatical. It's idiomatic.


    I think they are worth discussing. So is the one I mentioned.

    [Put space breaks between paragraphs.]

    The most unfortunate thing is that you just said "That phrasing is quite natural in English", which means you are giving up the chance to think.

    Never reword direct quotes. If you paraphrase, never use quotation marks.

    Avoid run-on sentences.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  7. #7
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: meaning of "the best of any"

    Quote Originally Posted by Benson Huang View Post
    Hi,

    My English level is between CERF B2 and C1. I got confused when I analyzed the grammar of the sentence below grammar aspect.

    Soni Ltd. is delighted to announce the Humbro, the vehicle with the best fuel consumption rating of any car in its class.

    I prefer to say "be the best of all cars"

    You could say is the best of all cars.


    or "better than any other car".

    Better than any other car and best of all cars mean the same thing.

    You need other because it can't be better than itself.


    For me, "the best fuel consumption rating of any car" means, if you randomly pick out some cars, then each car has its best fuel consumption rating.

    Only one can be best.


    Otherwise, it will be "the best fuel consumption rating of all cars", which means you compared the fuel consumption rating of all the cars and choose the best one.

    You can either say any car (singular) or all cars (plural). In that sentence, they would mean the same thing. In this context, they're interchangeable.


    So for the first case, it means at the moment, you only picked out one car [space] (the meaning of "any"), and you got a best fuel consumption. And if you randomly choose ten cars, you may get ten ratings.

    Yes. And according to the sentence you're asking about, the one with the best rating is the Humbro.


    So "the vehicle with the best fuel consumption rating of any car in its class" means this vehicle has ten best fuel consumption ratings, which is really confusing.

    No. All the cars were rated. One was rated the best: the Humbro. It was the best of any of them. It was the best of all of them.


    Could anyone please explain this in grammar aspect for me?

    I asked some native speakers, but they just said that it means that if you randomly choose a car, the Humbro still has a better fuel consumption rating than the chosen one, and they were not aware of that they were using the comparative, not the superlative.

    I understand your confusion. Yes, the Humbro gets better gas mileage than any other car (singular) in its class and the best of all cars (plural) in its class.

    However, your "Soni" example is phrased naturally and acceptably. The line between how we use any and all is not rigid.
    Don't use quotation marks to paraphrase. Only use them for direct verbatim quotes.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 21-Jan-2021 at 18:53.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: meaning of "the best of any"

    Quote Originally Posted by Benson Huang View Post
    3- I feel sorry that many native speakers lost the ability to analyze sentences from a grammar aspect. Are you one of them?
    Some phrases like"long time no see" are grammatically incorrect but normally used in daily English. I think they are worth discussion, so is the one I mentioned.
    The most regretful thing is that you just said "Oh it's natural for a native speaker", which means you give up the chance to think.
    The example you quote of the lack of native speakers' ability to analyse sentence grammatically is one that you say is grammatically incorrect. Logic rules supreme. I will happily discuss grammar, and know where that phrase comes from and how the grammar of different languages meeting affects things. The original sentence is fine to my flawed native ears. Your first suggestion does not work. The second works if you change it to with a fuel consumption better than any car in its class.

  9. #9
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    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: meaning of "the best of any"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    The second works if you change it to with a fuel consumption better than any car in its class.


    Benson Huang, strictly speaking, your point about the logic of the phrase in question is sound. (Note, that this is a question of logic, not "grammar aspect", as you call it.)

    However, you fail to understand that what is the logical form in language is not necessarily the 'correct' form. You equally fail to understand that meaning is collaborative—what something really means comes as a result of what the speaker and hearer have in their minds, independent of the language they use. This is the point that teechar was trying to introduce to you in post #3, which you seemingly wilfully and very rudely failed to recognise.

  10. #10
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: meaning of "the best of any"

    Are you still here, Benson?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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