the closest of friends? the closest friends?

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dante1024

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Apr 7, 2008
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Are there any differences between:
1. The closest of friends
2. The closest friends

Do they have different meanings? which one is more commonly used?

thanks
 

heidita

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Feb 16, 2007
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Spanish
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Are there any differences between:
1. The closest of friends He/she is the closest of all your close friends and of all your friends
2. The closest friends They are friends who are very close/dear to you, your closest friends

Do they have different meanings? which one is more commonly used? As they are different they would be used accordingly in the context.

thanks
:up:
 

BobK

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What heidita says is right; there are two cases, and each form belongs to one case: generally, plural - closest friends; singular - the closest of [someone's] friends. However, there is a usage - perhaps slightly archaic, or at least rather arch/artificial
(one of those A- words! ;-)) that puts 'the closest of' with the plural - "We used to be sworn enemies, but now we are the closest of friends"; the "of" form goes with the singular in this case, because the utterance is dealing with a single (albeit two-way) relationship.

Also, the "of" form can go with the plural in cases like this: "If you want to keep a secret, don't share it with even the closest of your friends; any one of them may blab."

b
 
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