Last night I and my friends encountered a problem. We didn't know which sentences is right:
1. What do you like best?
2. What do you like the best?
Can you explain it clearly and how to use it correctly? Thanks so much!
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
Good morning, hai lua.
(1) Yes, it is confusing, isn't it!
(2) It is ONLY my opinion that both sentences are "correct."
(3) For example, if someone offers you a choice of three books, s/he might ask, "Which book do you like best?/the best?
(4) "...like best" is, of course, perfect English.
(5) "...THE best" is also perfect English in conversation and also in much writing.
(a) One book gives these examples from two famous British writers:
(i) Of all my books I like this the best. -- Mr. Charles Dickens.
(ii) My father liked this the best. -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
(6) I think that you and your friends can say "What do you like best?" and "What do you like the best?" with complete confidence that you are speaking "good" English.
(7) Some native speakers say that the REALLY "good" English should be: What do you like most?/ What do you like the most?
(a) They explain that "most" is the superlative of "much": I very much like A./ I like A more than I like B./ I like C most/the most of all three.
(b) Some people remind us that "best" is the superlative of "well": Tom speaks French well./He speaks Russian better than French./ He speaks Chinese best/the best of all three.
Have a nice day!