Could anyone tell me what's wrong with this sentence below :

"A book is my best friend and teacher. "

It just doesn't sound right to me. My tries are as follows :

  1. The book is the best friend and teacher.
  2. Books are the best friend and teacher.
  3. A book is a good friend and teacher.

Any input will be greatly appreciated.

  • 2
    A great wordsmith once said: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." I think this licenses your original version. Yes; it would be nice if there weren't an implication of 'Which book?'; "Books are my best friends ..." doesn't really cut it, though. (1) sounds awful, and (2) unbalanced. (3) is OK but lacks punch. Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 14:07
  • A book…? Really? Which book, in particular? If you really mean anything like that, why would you not accept Books are my best friends and teachers, please? Commented Oct 10, 2017 at 20:11
  • Ain't nothing wrong with it. Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 9:17

1 Answer 1


In the original sentence, you used the indefinite article "a" to premodfy "book"- this gives the sense that there is no particular book being referred to. However, your use of the superlative adjective "best" suggests that there is only one book, so "a book" won't do. You need to be more specific- "the book" sounds better, but there will still be ambiguity until you introduce what that book actually is.

No. 1 then begs the question: whose best friend and teacher?

No. 2 also comes off as strange with the same logic as the previous two sentences: "best" implies a singular book, yet the plural "books" is used. Also, whose best friend and teacher?

No. 3 sounds the best of the four options!

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