The form of an adjective or adverb ending with "-est" or "most".

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36
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3answers
258k views

What's the difference between “eldest” and “oldest”?

When should I use "eldest" and when should I use "oldest"? Are the differences semantic or regional? (Or both?) (What got me wondering is the removeEldestEntry() method in Java's LinkedHashMap class....
32
votes
9answers
4k views

Is “best” still a superlative in “best friend”, as in can you have more than one “best friend”?

I was speaking to a 15-year-old native English speaker (in Australia), who referred to someone as her "best friend". Later, she revealed that this wasn't her only best friend. She had four best ...
15
votes
6answers
60k views

Is “funnest” a word?

We seem to be stuck at an impasse on this issue. Is funnest a word or not? If so, does it mean "most fun"?
14
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5answers
4k views

How can something be “fuller” or the “fullest”?

Consider the definition for full (Source): full [foo l] adjective, fuller, fullest. completely filled; containing all that can be held; filled to utmost capacity: a full cup. ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Can a preposition have the form of superlative?

They had almost reached the door when a voice spoke from the chair nearest them, "I can't believe you're going to do this.” I guess nearest is at the place of preposition. Can a preposition have ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Use of “The better”?

Disclamer: English isn't my first language. I learned during my English courses (a few years ago), that there is, as in French (which is my first language), a comparative and superlative version for ...
8
votes
7answers
8k views

Use of the superlative when only two items are present

When speaking with my mother a couple of days ago, I read to her a message I was sending to my cousin on her behalf ending with: "... the birthday of your youngest." [implying her child] She ...
8
votes
8answers
3k views

Superlative and definite article “the”

I have seen similar questions like this here on ELU. However, I am still confused with my particular question. (a) She gets up latest in her family. (b) She gets up the latest in her family. ...
7
votes
4answers
674 views

“Highest building of/in the world”

Which is correct? The Chrysler building was the highest building in the world. Today, it is the seventh highest building in the USA. or: The Chrysler building was the highest building of ...
7
votes
7answers
22k views

Is “baddest” a proper word?

I just came across this documentary: The World's Biggest & Baddest Bugs by Animal Planet Is "baddest" a proper word? Shouldn't it be "worst"? What is going on here?
6
votes
5answers
714 views

How can I express “bottom” superlative?

Suppose you have some elements (let's say coins) laid out over a table in vertical order. How can I make reference to the coin at the bottom? The lowest coin? The one that is below any other? I just ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

superlative + -ing participle + noun ok?

Is it always ok to have a superlative hyphenated with a present participle ending in -ing acting as an adjective (so long as the superlative describes the base verb of the participle)? For example: ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

“The” before superlative [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do I need to put “the” before “most” in this sentence? I've always thought you need the definite article 'the' before the superlative of an adjective, except when the ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

How/when does one use “a most”?

I've recently come across a novel called A most wanted man, after which being curious I found a TV episode called A most unusual camera. Could someone shed some light on how to use "a most" and ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Superlatives with “the”

What is the rule regarding using the with superlatives? For example: John is the fastest among his friends. John is fastest among his friends. Both appear to be correct. I have seen ...
5
votes
2answers
472 views

What are general rules to form this superlatives: “adjective + most”?

I happen to find superlatives with the structure below: Adjective + most, which are: the rearmost, the frontmost, the uppermost, the headmost, the outermost, the topmost, etc. What are the ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Do I need to put “the” before “most” in this sentence?

Is putting “the” before “most” in this sentence compulsory, optional, or a mistake? Fascination with language and attention to particular regions and communities in America are the most common ...
4
votes
2answers
695 views

“At most as many” — what does it mean? [closed]

I've been given the following question as a homework: If h is consistent, then A* - CSCS will expand at most as many nodes as A* graph search. English not being my native language, I'm kind of ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Comparative or superlative to describe a quality of a member of a set of two things?

For example, 'he's the bigger of the two guards' or 'he's the biggest of the two guards'? The comparative indicates that something is bigger/more difficult than another member. If there's only two ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

“The likeliest problem” vs. “the most likely problem”

The likeliest problem vs. the most likely problem: are they both correct? do they mean the same thing? is one preferable over another?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Comparative, superlative using “one of”

Which is correct: Today is one of the warmer days this month. Today is one of the warmest days this month. I hear the first used almost exclusively on television news.
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Comparative and superlative adverbs?

I'm a native speaker of English, and I don't know how many times I've wanted to say "happilier" instead of "more happily", or "happiliest" instead of "most happily". Is there any record of such ...
4
votes
2answers
81 views

“Lowest” vs. “lowermost”

Is there any difference between the words lowest and lowermost? When should I use either of them? Possibly lowermost should never be used?
4
votes
1answer
339 views

Is “workingest” used as often and casually as “hardest working” and “the most hard working (or industrious)”?

I found the phrase America is “the workingest nation” on earth in the following sentence of Time magazine’s (November 14) article titled “Whatever happened to upward mobility.” For the first time ...
4
votes
5answers
336 views

Is it correct to use “most” + “-est” together?

I was over exaggerating while writing something for class and I wrote Welcome to the most wildest show on earth. Someone pointed out the most wildest and I was wondering if it was OK to use ...
4
votes
3answers
18k views

“Which do you like best?” or “Which do you like most?”

Is there any difference in usage between these two sentences? Which do you like best? Which do you like most? I've read there is a slight difference in usage - a subtlety - and ...
4
votes
2answers
73 views

Relative clauses: “I did the best I could.”

I did the best I could. The sentence above can be rephrased: I did the best that I could. In these two examples (that) I could is a relative clause. However, I am not sure whether it is ...
4
votes
2answers
34k views

Comparative or superlative use of the word “far”

Which sentence is correct? The quarterback threw the ball farthest than anyone else on the team. The quarterback threw the ball farther than anyone else on the team. The quarterback threw the ball ...
4
votes
1answer
40 views

Why “respect you most” instead of “respect you more” in the following quote by Samuel Johnson?

"Go into the street and give one man a lecture on morality and another a shilling, and see which will respect you most." British Literature 1640-1789 I can't figure out why Johnson used "most" ...
3
votes
7answers
7k views

Is “most superior” correct?

I am reviewing an article, and the author uses the phrase ... this algorithm achieves the most superior fairness ... Initially I thought the phrase is not correct, just like saying that ...
3
votes
3answers
370 views

“My latest five novels” or “my five latest novels”?

Is it okay to say "my latest five novels" when I want to express "five of my latest novels"? As far as I know, "five" is a postdeterminer, so it precedes an adjective (except for "last/following/top",...
3
votes
2answers
324 views

“of utmost importance” vs “of the utmost importance”

Which one is the correct form between "of utmost" and "of the utmost"? Your attendance at the meeting is of the utmost importance. Your attendance at the meeting is of utmost importance. ...
3
votes
2answers
408 views

word order in superlatives: “She booked the earliest flight to London she could.” or “She booked the earliest flight she could to London.”?

What is the correct (Ooops, I'm afraid it's me again! rule-o-cratic French speaker), preferred, then, word order in a superlative? "She booked the earliest flight she could back to London." or "She ...
3
votes
2answers
58k views

Which is correct - “most quiet” or “quietest”?

A friend of mine saw a gun at the store that was labeled as the "most quiet gun". Is this correct English or is it more correct to say, the "quietest gun"?
3
votes
4answers
691 views

Are there cases when the word “best” as an adjective could be used without “the”?

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
194 views

Is there a word for “conjugating” an adjective?

Verbs can be conjugated to past/future tenses. Nouns can be pluralized. Adjectives also have comparative and superlative forms. For example fast, faster, and fastest. What is the word that describes ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

What is the term for comparatives that cannot be formed with -er and -est?

Is there a term to describe the case where using "-er" and "-est" is incorrect to form a comparative because it is formed by using "more" or "most"? For example: more difficult instead of ...
3
votes
1answer
13k views

What are the comparative and superlative forms of 'lively'?

My teacher taught me that to form the comparative and superlative degrees of a mono- or di- or tri-syllabic word, I should add 'more' and 'most', e.g.: lively -more lively-most lively I know ...
3
votes
1answer
724 views

Rules for single-word comparatives and superlatives [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “More clear” vs “Clearer”, when to use “more” instead of “-er” Are there any rules for which words are allowed to have -er ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

“Mostest” vs. “most” [closed]

What is the difference between mostest and most? Can they be used interchangeably?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

“The” and superlative of uncountable noun — “the clearest water”?

Uncountable nouns are usually used without an article. Superlatives require definite article. What comes out of these 2 rules when superlative meets uncountable article? We need an example, I hope it ...
2
votes
2answers
310 views

Why does “He is as rich as any in our town” mean “He is one of the richest people in our town”?

According to my textbook, the sentence He is as rich as any in our town. has the same meaning as the following one: He is one of the richest people in our town. Is it right? It seems that ...
2
votes
4answers
224 views

Can something be “blacker” than something else? How common are single-word comparatives and superlatives for color-designating adjectives?

Merriam-Webster implies that the comparative and superlative for black are blacker and blackest. However, my native British colleague says he would never used blacker, only more black. How common is ...
2
votes
3answers
969 views

Which is right, “worst nightmare” or “best nightmare”?

When we refer to the most negative dream, we say it as worst nightmare. Since that nightmare is negative, does that mean that the meaning of the worst nightmare is the least negative of all nightmares?...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Is “emptiest” a logically correct term?

There are some adjectives that are logical binaries, e.g. empty — either the noun is empty or it isn't. Can we apply a superlative degree to such adjectives? E.g. This is the emptiest these ...
2
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4answers
2k views

Which word you would choose as a superlative of “wrong”?

Which word you would choose as a superlative of "wrong"?
2
votes
3answers
11k views

Appropriate use of “littlest”

I recently had a debate with a friend about whether "littlest" was a word. I took the stance that it was not. I find now that basically every time I make such a claim these days someone can hold up ...
2
votes
2answers
56k views

much and more comparative superlative

I know that much is used with uncountable nouns and more with countable nouns. There is no connection between much and more with the comparative and superlative, right? For example, if we take the ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What is wrong with mixing “taller” and “tallest” like this?

Although the towers appear identical, the west tower is the tallest, standing 16 feet taller than the east tower. What might be wrong? Does it have to do with comparative and superlative degrees?
2
votes
2answers
225 views

“A foremost” correct usage of this superlative? [closed]

Among the antiquities of a great nation, its tombs always hold a foremost place. Since foremost means "first in rank," how can something have a foremost place, and not the foremost place?