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Re: Degrees of adjectives

From:Muke Tever <hotblack@...>
Date:Saturday, February 5, 2005, 0:06
# 1 <salut_vous_autre@...> wrote:
> caeruleancentaur wrote: >> "Which of these two drinks do you prefer?" >> "I prefer the sweeter." >> "Prefiero la más dulce." >> >> "Which of these three drinks do you prefer?" >> "I prefer the sweetest." >> "Prefiero la más dulce. > > I tought that in English the superlative needs a definite article and that > the comparative may only be after a verb like "be, become, stay, seem" > > If not, I don't see any difference between "the sweetest" and "the sweeter" > > They would mean "the one that is the most sweet" and "the one that is > sweeter than the other(s)", the second means also that it is the most > sweet...
True, but the second means specifically that it is the most sweet _out of two options_. For another example, the second of two can be called "the latter" or "the last". If there are more than two, the one at the end can only be called "the last". This kind of thing happens in different places too: for example you use "either" when there are two options, and "any" when there are more: "He didn't feed either of the cats" (two cats involved) "He didn't feed any of the cats" (more than two cats) *Muke! -- website: LiveJournal: deviantArt: FrathWiki, a conlang and conculture wiki: