That is an advertisement of one company, a banner. They write the name of the company and the second line goes like this "best ad designs".

Is this line correct? or should there be a "the"? Is there a general rule to put "the" before the adjective "best" or are there cases when "the" is not needed?


Superlative adjectives are normally preceded by the, but for reasons of brevity and snappiness, headlines, slogans and banners often omit words that would occur in formal prose. That seems to be what is happening here.

  • Thank you! That's the way I was thinking, but then started to hesitate. Thank you for the answer – Cindy Sep 25 '12 at 9:52

Banner English is similar to headline English: it's telegraphic and filled with omissions because the point of the language is to communicate the key concepts as quickly and briefly as possible, not to produce a grammatically correct complete sentence. For the banner, the English is perfect. For a formal written sentence, you'd probably want to say These are the best {advertisement designs / designs from advertisements}. [I see that Barrie England and I agree 100% on this one.]

If the noun phrase modified by best follows best, then you normally use the article, e.g., "Here are the five choices. This is the best choice". If it doesn't, then you can omit the article, e.g., "Here are the five choices. This is {best / the best}".


"I am so nervous about asking a question on that tough ELU site. What is going to happen?

"Best case scenario, you will simply get a helpful answer. My best guess is that you may also get a bit of attitude."


I know there are cases when we do not use the definite article before best (as an adjective) and it is not in headlines and the noun is not omitted: NerdWallet’s list of best 529 plans by state is available for those who live in these states. here are the examples, I am trying to figure out the general rule for this: ONE of best things about East 50's is that it is as ordinary as it is extraordinary. You may be asking yourself what kind of dog or cat would be best for your lifestyle. You have a lot of options for cooking oils. Some are better at certain temperatures, others are best with certain types of food. MyFitnessPal's chart goes through the best oils to use for different types of cooking, then details what types of cooking uses they're best for and some extra nutritional information. For example, avocado oil's great for searing meat and has a good amount of vitamin E, while sesame oil is best for low-heat stir fry but doesn't have much in the way of vitamins.. Any idea about how to generalize this?

  • Are you asking a question? If you are, please click on the "ask a question" button. You can quote from this page to help give your post context. If instead this is your answer, then perhaps consider rephrasing it. Either way, it's not terribly clear. – Mari-Lou A Nov 6 '14 at 6:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.