Better off - Worst off

lumage

Member
Italian
Is it "worst off" the opposite of "better off"? Because one of my teacher used to say it all the time, but now doing some research I'm starting to think she could be wrong (she is not an English native speaker)...

The exact sentence I'd like to use is:

"The variable assume value (+1) if an increase in the measure makes the relative group better off, while it assume value (-1) if an increase in the measure makes the relative group worst off."

Is it correct?

Don't know if the sentence is clear: basically there are groups that are characterized by different measures: some measures are "positive", in the sense that an increase in the measure improve the group's wealth, while other measures are "negative", in the sense that an increase in the measure decrease the group's wealth.

thanks!
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    No, it should be 'worse off' here, with the usual comparative pair 'better' and 'worse'. I suppose as 'worse' and 'worst' sound so much alike, they're easy to confuse. If you're talking about the maximal and minimal values among three or more groups, one group can be the best off and one the worst off: the usual superlative pair.
     

    cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    Do you mean
    "The variable assumes the value of (+1)"?
    In any case, as the rest of your sentence seems to imply a comparison between two variables the word should be "worse" (comparative), not "worst" (superlative).
     

    lumage

    Member
    Italian
    Do you mean
    "The variable assumes the value of (+1)"?
    In any case, as the rest of your sentence seems to imply a comparison between two variables the word should be "worse" (comparative), not "worst" (superlative).
    Yep I missed the "s" of assumes :D
     
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