as good as any

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beppo

Senior Member
Italian
I often come across phrases like "as good as any"(referring to an author, novelist etc.) "as good a time as any" Do they mean "as good as no one else" "the best" and "the best time to do something" ? Why do you use "any" in an affirmative phrase ? Thanks in advance I'm finding the forum very helpful
 
  • Sr. Moose

    Banned
    Frostbite Falls, Alces and English
    He is as good (at his craft) as any (other author, novelist, etc., is).

    It's as good a time (for it to happen; to do it) as any (other time would be).
    :)
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Hi
    I often come across phrases like "as good as any" (referring to an author, novelist etc.) - this means "good". The person being described is considered to be on a par with (any other) good writer etc. It can be qyite a positive thing to say.


    "as good a time as any" means we can do it at this time as well as any other time. It doesn't really mean very much, it is one of those phrases that acts as a "filler" in a conversation or letter.

    Why do you use "any" in an affirmative phrase ? Your question implies that "any" has a negative meaning. It doesn't! It means things like "random" "unspecific" "undetermined quantity" etc.
     

    gvergara

    Senior Member
    Español
    I don't quite understand this. I came across the following sentence

    Jacob said he wanted to go and see Granny, and it seemed as good a plan as any.
    From "A spot of bother" by Mark Haddon

    At first, I thought that the plan was not really an exciting one, and that Katie, Jacob's mother, was more or less indifferent to it; but according to one of the above answers, it can also mean good... Can you please help me straighten this out? Thanks in advance

    Gonzalo
     
    Last edited:

    MaximuS.111

    Senior Member
    russian
    Jacob said he wanted to go and see Granny, and it seemed as good a plan as any.
    From "A spot of bother" by Mark Haddon
    gvergara, I think it's used in a positive meaning here. Jacob could have had different options to go to, each of the equal importance, and chose to go to Granny.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I don't quite understand this. I came across the following sentence

    Jacob said he wanted to go and see Granny, and it seemed as good a plan as any.
    From "A spot of bother" by Mark Haddon

    At first, I thought that the plan was not really an exciting one, and that Katie was more or less indifferent to it; but according to one of the above answers, it can also mean good... Can you please help me sraighten tis out? Thanks in advance

    Gonzalo
    Yes, you understand the meaning correctly. Katie has no special feelings about this plan; it's okey with her, but she doesn't especially want to do it.
     

    eedoo

    New Member
    German - Austria
    This is one of the most confusing phrases you can come across.

    In British English, it actually means "better than most", but because this usage appears illogical to many people, it is also used for "not better or worse than most".

    You'll find both meanings, and you can guess only from the context what the writer/speaker intended to say.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    As eedoo says, a great deal depends on the context.

    If you happen to be talking about excellence, for example the qualities of a new thriller writer, you might say she is as good as any ... meaning that her books are on a par with the best. I wouldn't go so far as to say 'better than most'.

    If you happen to be talking about mediocrity, for example the various plans that were in Katie's mind when Jacob suggested visiting Granny, then 'as good as any' means no better, no worse than the alternatives - and as Cagey suggests, Katie is not enthusiastic about any of them.
     

    Hellsguard

    Member
    Turkish
    as good a time/place etc as any used to say that although a time etc is not perfect, there will probably not be a better one:
    I suppose this is as good a place as any to stay.
    I guess now’s as good a time as any to tell Dad about the car.
     
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