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Can you please help me to choose the most appropriate variant for the following sentence:

In the USA (common, more common, the most common) college degree among the others is a bachelor of arts.

I suppose "more common" as well as "the most common" make sence. But my teacher insist on just "common".

Native speakers, what variant sounds better in English? Thank you!

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Firstly, among the others is not good grammar here, so that needs fixing. Common on its own only works with a.

So either:

In the USA, a common college degree is the bachelor of arts.

Or:

In the USA, the most common college degree is the bachelor of arts.

If you need to keep some form of among others, perhaps try something like this:

In the USA, a common degree, among others, is the bachelor of arts.

(I must say, though, it's hard to fit among others in here in any kind of useful way.)

  • Thank you for your clear explanation. May I ask one more question? What is wrong with the article in "among the others"? Is it because we didn't spesify the exact degrees? But I assume there exist not so many of them, – Natalie Dec 10 '18 at 23:07
  • @Natalie The problem isn’t with using “the” with “others” - that part is fine. It’s with using “common” with “among the others”. That would be ok as well if “others” meant “other people”. But “common” among “other degrees” doesn’t really make sense. It restricts the universe of discussion to “other degrees”, making the one you’re highlighting out of scope, let alone common. – Lawrence Dec 11 '18 at 1:53
  • Among others is a common phrase that means the thing you are talking about is one of many—but those others are undefined. You can't say "the others" in this context unless you've already identified/named those others. – ralph.m Dec 11 '18 at 2:36

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