Take the 2-minute tour ×
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.

That is an advertisement of one company, a banner. They write the name of the company and the second line goes like this "best ad designs".

Is this line correct? or should there be a "the"? Is there a general rule to put "the" before the adjective "best" or are there cases when "the" is not needed?

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

Superlative adjectives are normally preceded by the, but for reasons of brevity and snappiness, headlines, slogans and banners often omit words that would occur in formal prose. That seems to be what is happening here.

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you! That's the way I was thinking, but then started to hesitate. Thank you for the answer –  Cindy Sep 25 '12 at 9:52
add comment

Banner English is similar to headline English: it's telegraphic and filled with omissions because the point of the language is to communicate the key concepts as quickly and briefly as possible, not to produce a grammatically correct complete sentence. For the banner, the English is perfect. For a formal written sentence, you'd probably want to say These are the best {advertisement designs / designs from advertisements}. [I see that Barrie England and I agree 100% on this one.]

If the noun phrase modified by best follows best, then you normally use the article, e.g., "Here are the five choices. This is the best choice". If it doesn't, then you can omit the article, e.g., "Here are the five choices. This is {best / the best}".

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you, guys! Your answers are very helpful. –  Cindy Sep 25 '12 at 9:52
add comment

"I am so nervous about asking a question on that tough ELU site. What is going to happen?

"Best case scenario, you will simply get a helpful answer. My best guess is that you may also get a bit of attitude."

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

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.