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Can I say "spoke the nicest way" instead of the "spoke in the nicest way" ?

As in:
"I always spoke about you the nicest way in the world." instead of "I always spoke about you in the nicest way in the world."

Thank you !

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  • Although 'way' is singular, 'in' blurs it so that it can function as a set, in which your 'way' was one of the nicest ways, whereas 'spoke the nicest way' leaves no options (and is arguably impossible).
    – AmI
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 22:35
  • I always spoke so nicely about you. Just drop the world.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 23:19

1 Answer 1

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Your first question:

Can I say "spoke the nicest way" instead of the "spoke in the nicest way"?

Yes, but it has a slightly different meaning. For example, you may have a group of people speaking and decide that Mary spoke the nicest way of all of them. It's still not great but it could be done. Whereas, Mary spoke in the nicest way is a slightly euphemistic and slightly old-fashioned way of saying that Mary's speaking was extremely pleasant.

But you give the example where you add the "about you" which limits your options:

As in: "I always spoke about you the nicest way in the world." instead of "I always spoke about you in the nicest way in the world."

And here, only the second one is correct. The first one is clunky and feels like it's missing a word. Which it is. But now we have context, in which you are speaking about me and so only the second version discussed above is viable.

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