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I'm a bit confused about this.

Which example is the right one?

From all the fellow writers, who was the best?

From all fellow writers, who was the best?

Is there a reason why "the" should be used before the adjective in this case? Is there a reason for it not to be there? Thanks.

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The question isn't actually about "the" before adjectives: it is about plural articles.

Both examples are grammatically correct, though the first one is more likely to be what you mean. The first example uses the definite article "the" to indicate a specific set of fellow writers (possibly ones that were introduced before). The second uses the indefinite 'zero' article (ie no article) to indicate an arbitrary set of fellow writers (in this case, all possible ones, not necessarily connected to any specific person). A third meaning, also using no article, is the generic sense, as in the sentence "Fellow writers tend to criticise"

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