English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I need to understand if I could say "As good a [noun] as it gets". Would it mean "the best [noun]"? E.g.

You can buy as good a car as it gets in that store.

share|improve this question
You could say it like that but there are other, more succinct ways to say that the cars in that store are the best. (like that!) :-) – Kristina Lopez May 2 '13 at 18:01
Google hits for: "a car as good as it gets" : 0 //"as good a car as it gets" : 2. You can try this with other nouns instead of car. The idiom is ... is as good as it gets. (2.4 million Google hits). – Edwin Ashworth May 2 '13 at 18:02
Thanks, I just do not know whether I could put a noun "into" this phrase. – Pietros May 2 '13 at 18:04
Colloquially, yes, I've heard it quite often, but in an even slightly formal setting I'd keep the idiom intact if possible. – Cmillz May 3 '13 at 4:31
i doubt if you can put a noun into it. i agree with @EdwinAshworth – ktkaushik May 6 '13 at 10:39

I agree with Edwin; it doesn't work to insert the noun there.

I would, however, accept the noun placed within the phrase a bit differently, thus:

This (or "this car") is as good as a car gets.

In this case, you are simply substituting the noun ("a car") for "it," rather than adding "a car" to the basic structure of the idiom. And yes, if you make this substitution, you would be saying it is "the best car."

You could not, however, use this version of the idiom within the type of syntax found in your example sentence. (That is, it would not be grammatical to say, "You can buy as good as a car gets in that store.")

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.