One of the Bests or One of the Best? Which Is Correct?

Marcus Froland

English is a tricky beast. Just when you think you’ve tamed it, it turns around and surprises you with a new rule or exception. It’s the language where one small change can flip the meaning of your sentence upside down. And let’s be real, even native speakers get tripped up by its quirks.

Today, we’re tackling one of those head-scratchers that seem simple on the surface but can cause quite a bit of confusion: “One of the Bests” versus “One of the Best”. You might think you’ve got this in the bag, but do you really? By the end of this article, not only will you know which is correct, but you’ll understand why it matters more than you might think.

When you want to say something is among the top choices, the correct phrase is “one of the best”. This is because “best” already implies a group. Adding an “s” to “best” would be incorrect since “best” signifies the highest quality or level and does not need pluralization. For example, if you’re talking about a book, you would say, “This book is one of the best I’ve ever read,” not “one of the bests.” Remember, when pointing out that someone or something stands out in a group for their qualities, always use “one of the best”.

Exploring the Grammatical Battle: “Bests” vs. “Best”

The English language presents numerous challenges and complexities, leading to confusion amongst learners and even native speakers. One such challenge relates to the grammatical correctness of “bests” vs. “best.” To mitigate this confusion, it is crucial to understand the different roles of superlative adjectives and pluralization in grammatical structures.

Within English grammar, “best” operates as the superlative form of “good,” while “bests” is actually incorrect. The superlative adjective “best” does not pluralize, making “one of the bests” a grammatical error. This error often stems from the tendency to pluralize nouns and attempting to extend that rule to adjectives erroneously.

“Best” is a superlative adjective, and it remains in a singular form, regardless of the number of subjects being described.

To provide additional clarity, the following table illustrates the distinctions between the base, comparative, and superlative forms of three common English adjectives:

Base Form Comparative Form Superlative Form
good better best
bad worse worst
happy happier happiest

This table clearly demonstrates that superlative adjectives, like “best,” do not take a plural form. By understanding these grammatical nuances, language learners can avoid the pitfalls of using incorrect terms such as “bests” and confidently speak and write English using the correct superlative adjectives.

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The Singular Superlative: Understanding “One of the Best”

The superlative adjective “best” serves to denote an entity at the utmost level of a quality among comparatives. It functions singularly even when referring to a group and is not pluralized. The use of one of the best is the correct English usage and indicates that the subject is among the highest-ranking members in a certain group.

The Role of Superlative Adjectives in English

Superlative adjectives play a crucial role in the English language by allowing speakers to express the highest degree of a quality among comparatives. These adjectives often end in -est or are preceded by the word most, and they are used to compare three or more entities. Due to the nature of superlatives representing an extreme degree, they are generally not pluralized.

Examples of Correct Usage in Everyday Language

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players in football.

The Harry Potter series is one of the most popular book series worldwide.

A smartphone is one of the most useful gadgets for modern living.

In these examples, the singular superlative adjectives best and most popular are used correctly to emphasize the subjects’ high ranking among the comparatives.

Mitigating Confusion: Singular vs. Plural Forms

It is important to remember that in English, adjectives generally do not take a plural form. This is a common source of confusion for those whose first languages have plural adjectives, leading to incorrect phrases such as “bests.”

To avoid misunderstandings, consider the following language nuances when using superlatives:

  • Superlative adjectives in English are always singular, even when referring to multiple items or groups.
  • Superlatives describe the highest degree of a quality among comparatives, with no need for pluralization.
  • The phrase “one of the best” highlights a subject’s position among the top without specifying the order.

Common Mistakes: When ‘Bests’ Sneaks into Language

Given the wide array of languages spoken worldwide, it is not surprising that common English mistakes often involve language interference. One prime example is the confusion over the correct adjective usage when distinguishing between “best” and “bests.” Many individuals, especially those whose first language includes plural adjectives, inadvertently opt for the incorrect term, “bests.”

Language interference refers to the inadvertent transfer of linguistic features or patterns from one’s primary language to another. Such interference may lead to grammatical errors, as users attempt to apply rules from their native tongue to English – a mismatch that frequently spawns errors, like the use of “bests” instead of “best.”

“I think ‘The Godfather’ is one of the bests movies I have seen.”

In the example above, the speaker incorrectly uses “bests” when the correct expression should have been “one of the best.” To avoid such pitfalls, it is essential to recognize that adjectives in English do not inflect according to number; thus, “best” remains singular, regardless of the subject’s number.

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To provide a clearer perspective, the table below summarizes various examples, highlighting the difference between incorrect and correct adjective usage:

Incorrect Adjective Usage Correct Adjective Usage
One of the bests restaurants One of the best restaurants
Top 5 bests cities to visit Top 5 best cities to visit
He is among the bests athletes He is among the best athletes
These are the bests books I’ve read These are the best books I’ve read

To steer clear of common English mistakes, always double-check your adjective usage and ensure you are following English grammar rules. You will eventually develop an innate understanding of proper adjective forms, making it easier to avoid the inclusion of incorrect terms like “bests” in your speech and writing.

Expert Insights: What Language Authorities Say

When trying to perfect your English grammar, it is essential to look towards language authorities to understand what is considered correct usage, particularly with superlative forms. Let’s examine expert opinions on the matter and explore the impact of language evolution on modern usage.

Parsing Through English Grammar Rules

Experts in the field of linguistics and various grammar guides are consistent in their assertion that “one of the best” is the grammatically correct expression. This statement aligns with superlative adjective guidelines in English grammar, which stipulates that superlative adjectives should not be pluralized.

Renowned grammar sources, such as the Chicago Manual of Style and the The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, confirm that the correct usage of the superlative form is “one of the best” rather than the incorrect “one of the bests.”

This expert consensus reaffirms the importance of following established grammar rules to ensure that your language skills remain precise and accurate, especially when using superlative forms.

The Influence of Language Evolution on Modern Usage

While language is continuously evolving, and colloquial usage may introduce changes in the way we express ourselves, certain fundamental rules remain constant. In the case of superlative adjectives in English, the rule that they should not be pluralized is still considered standard in modern usage.

It is crucial to keep apprised of these enduring grammar rules and be aware of the ever-changing landscape of spoken language. By maintaining an up-to-date understanding of grammar rules and language authorities’ advice, you can ensure that your English language skills remain polished and accurate.

  1. Consult reputable grammar guides and dictionaries to verify any doubts about superlative usage.
  2. Follow grammar experts or linguists on social media to stay informed about changes in the English language.
  3. Engage in discussions with native speakers to gauge the acceptability of certain expressions and identify any discrepancies between spoken and written language.
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Adhering to established grammar rules set forth by language authorities is essential in guaranteeing that your use of superlative forms in English remains accurate. Despite the dynamic nature of language, the rule that superlative adjectives are not pluralized continues to be steadfast in modern English usage.

Applying the Rules: Tips for Polishing Your English Skills

Improving your English language proficiency requires dedication and practice. To refine your skills, it is crucial to immerse yourself in various language resources. This exposure helps you develop a better understanding of grammar skill enhancement and proper usage of phrases such as “one of the best.”

Native speakers can provide valuable guidance and feedback on your language progress. Pay close attention to their corrections, and don’t be afraid to ask for explanations when needed. This will help you gain confidence and improve your English fluency more effectively.

Stay informed about English grammar rules, particularly concerning the correct use of superlative adjectives and their singular form. Incorporating these language tips into your everyday communication will enhance your overall understanding and allow for a more polished, natural language style. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep on honing your English improvement skills and before you know it, you’ll be navigating the nuances of the English language like a pro.

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