156 reputation
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bio website twitter.com/ColinHebert
location Oxford, United Kingdom
age 25
visits member for 2 years
seen Jul 12 '12 at 14:53

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Jul
12
comment Use of “The better”?
Not quite, the comparative is "mieux" and the superlative "meilleur". When you use "the" (definite article "le/la/les") using a comparative "le mieux, la mieux, les mieux" is at best very awkward ("la mieux solution" for example is clearly wrong). And indeed another answer brought up the fact that english consider than there is no "superlative" when there are only two choices (even if one of them is considered as "the best") and instead the comparative form is used.
Jul
4
awarded  Teacher
Jul
4
revised Difference between “swims among turtles” and “swims among the turtles”?
added 43 characters in body
Jul
4
answered Difference between “swims among turtles” and “swims among the turtles”?
Jul
3
comment Use of “The better”?
@DavidWallace, this was exactly what I was looking for! Thank you
Jul
2
comment Use of “The better”?
@CoolElf, It's a way to see things. I found the discussion on this subject interesting, and trying to understand if it is just a common mistake which is now completely integrated in the language or if it's a part of the "original" grammar was more or less the point of my original question (even if I didn't explicitly asked it like that). Just like the infamous "10 items or less/fewer", I think it's interesting to know the difference between a commonly accepted mistake and a grammatically correct sentence.
Jul
2
comment Use of “The better”?
@AndrewLeach I understand that idioms are different, I was just wondering if they were grammatically incorrect. And I'm sorry if I asked a lot of confirmations but I tried to get more information on that by myself and couldn't find any source saying when there are only two possibilities, the comparative should be used instead of the superlative. Even if it explains a lot of things I've heard, it's an important change on the way I perceive the English language.
Jul
2
awarded  Scholar
Jul
2
accepted Use of “The better”?
Jul
2
comment Use of “The better”?
So should I say "Put your better foot forward" instead of "Put your best foot forward"? Or if I participate in a duel with someone "May the better win" instead of "May the best win"?
Jul
2
comment What's the difference between “judicial” and “juridical”?
Historically there is a difference, one is based on juridicus which in latin is everything related to the law and rights, the other is based on judicarius/judicium which is the judgment itself. But everything else in this answer is spot on.
Jul
2
comment Use of “The better”?
As I asked in another comment, does that mean that when you have two alternatives only you have the better one and the worse one but when you have more alternatives you have the best one and the worst one?
Jul
2
awarded  Commentator
Jul
2
comment Use of “The better”?
@SchroedingersCat as I asked somewhere else in this topic, does that mean that best always implies every possible solution whereas better only implies only the mentioned subset? (the full comment is in Jasper Loy answer's comments)
Jul
2
comment Use of “The better”?
Another way to say it would be "Of all the solutions I know of, this is the better one" compared to "Of all the solutions I know of, this is the best one". For me (but then again I thought it was a mistake, hence this question) the first version sounds wrong, even if the set of options is limited and the second seems more appropriate. I could understand that the first form could exist with a different meaning than the second one, but if I understand your answer, they both have the same meaning (or maybe am I extrapolating from your answer?).
Jul
2
comment Use of “The better”?
"Of solution A and solution B, the better choice is B.", wouldn't "the best choice is B" be more appropriate? I understand that you can do a reference with something like this "There is (at least) a better choice than the one you have made. The better choice is..." when you do that you reference the aforementioned "better choice"; it would have been better to say "That choice is", but for the sake of the argument I can accept that "better choice" can in a specific context refer to one specific choice.
Jul
2
comment Use of “The better”?
When you say "the better solution", with "the" you're talking about one solution that can be identified easily (the one), but without context how can you identify "The better"? In your example your mentioning before "This solution is better than anything else", so it makes sense later to say "The better solution is this", "the better" making reference to "This solution which is better and which I talked about earlier", it's implied. But without that how can you say "the" if it has not something to distinguish it from everything else (like being the "best")?
Jul
2
revised Use of “The better”?
added 51 characters in body
Jul
2
comment Use of “The better”?
Why wouldn't it be called "the best solution"? After all if you're considering only two alternatives, it is the best one. Is there a difference between calling it "the best solution" or "the better solution"?
Jul
2
awarded  Student