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Postby Guest » Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:55 am

Hi "everybody". this is my question:
When I say: she swims best.
Do I need a complement, like: of all, in the world, in the class. Or we already have a complete sentence.

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Re: Superlative

Postby nikita » Sat Oct 02, 2004 11:46 pm

Hello Guest!

Nice to see you here.

The sentence is not quite right. First, "best" here is the superlative form of "well", which is an adverb. Thus you cannot have "the" before it. We put "the" before superlative forms of adjectives.

Here are a few examples that Longman gives:

It works best if you let it warm up first.

You know him best - you should ask him.

The concept of liberalism in the United States is best understood as a very limited version of democratic socialism.

I don't think that it is a must to have something after it. I am quite certain you can make do with what you have. But you need to imply/mean something like this, or it should be clear from the context.

For example:
- Who is the fastest swimmer in your team?
- Peter swims best.

Still, I would call this sentence very natural either. Here is one more thing to support this point. Google finds only SEVEN pages with the phrase "she swims best". Here are some sentences that I found:

Boral swims best time in 200-meter breaststroke, but time not good enough to earn honors.

She has improved greatly in not only what she swims best but also secondary strokes.

The swimmer who manages their thoughts and life the best outside the pool, will probably also manage their swims best in the pool.

I think the main reason why there aren't so many "swims best" combinations is that "swim" isn't so widely used with "best". It is not a very common collocation/combination. Here are the verbs that according to Longman are usually used with "best":

achieve, avoid, describe, explain, fit, illustrate, know, leave, like, place, regard, remember, serve, suit, understand, use, wish, work

Please feel free to ask, if you have any more questions.

Best regards,

PS I wouldn't call anyone "a beginner" who uses such words as "complement". :)

Nikita Kovalyov


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