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    • Join Date: Oct 2005
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    Could you please tell me which of the underlined verbs best fits in the following:
    The French excel / surpass the Americans in politeness.
    According to most dictionaries, to excel is intransitive, so it would naturally be inappropriate in the example above.Nevertheless, I found it in an old joke dating back in the 1920s.
    Thank you so much for your time,

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    Re: Synonyms

    "Surpass" would be the correct verb in your example.

    And a joke book is probably the only place you'd find "the French" and "politeness" used in the same sentence.

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