best person to ask/answer


us, english
I have a question and I figured you'd be the best person to ask/answer it.

"ask" sounds more natural, but grammatically it appears incorrect. What do you guys think?
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I think you can say it two ways, but if you use "ask" make that the final word and omit "it". (I think it'e elliptical for "ask it of")

    If you use "answer" then leave "it" on the end.


    New Member
    English, USA
    i think it would be... you would be the best person to ask. take out the it.

    WR Rule #21 Except as a topic of discussion, chatspeak and SMS style are not acceptable. Members must do their best to write using standard language forms. <<That includes using capital letters where appropriate>>


    It was while I was about to answer this that I realised that sometimes these might be two different people.
    The best person to ask (most knowledgeable) may not be best able to answer (most didactic) - I'm thinking particularly of a guy I worked with who knew it all, but when asked a question was pathologically incapable of giving a succinct answer - one needed an intermediary!

    However, I'd go with "I think you're the best person to ask."


    Senior Member
    American English
    Two succint grammatically correct versions:

    #1) I have a question and I figured you'd be the best person to ask.
    #2) I have a question and I figured you'd be the best person to answer it.

    In #1, you just ask (ie, you dont have to ask "it"). But this whole topic is fairly irregular, since we would also say Can I ask you a question? or Can I ask you something? (with a direct object). Of course, you might answer my question with: I don't know. Ask him.

    In #2, it = "the question". The best person to answer wouldn't mean the best person to ask, it would mean the person who gave the best answer (of all the answers which were given).

    #1 implies the person is better to ask, possibly for a quick simple answer. #2 implies the person is better to answer, perhaps because either a quick simple answer don't due, or they have special access to more current information. But this distinction is VERY subtle, and won't register with many readers, and is almost completely irrelevant in speech.

    However, the best person to answer it could mean something different (although not in this context). For example: A call went out for volunteers, and, although not the first, he was the best to answer it.

    Another example: I was asking a question, and didn't even get to the end of it... (think Jeopardy TV show). But the first person to answer, may not even have heard it all, and therefore may not answer it at all.