Comparative and superlative adjective of clever

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Stella11224455

New Member
Chinese
Hi everyone i have a problem with a word of clever in Comparative and superlative
Question
He was the (clever)___thief of all.

The answer is cleverest but i don't understand why the answer is cleverest and not than cleverer.
I know the question is sort to superlative.
BUT I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND!!!
(Please someone help me.)

thank you:):):)
 
  • Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    The "of all" indicates that he is not just cleverer than most thieves but is the cleverest (of those thieves) ie none of the other thieves were as clever as him or her.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    I agree with Linkway that "of all" calls for the superlative.

    - He was a clever thief.
    - He was cleverer than the other thieves.
    - He was the cleverest thief of all.

    If there are only two in the comparison, this is the most likely form:
    - He is cleverer than the other thief.

    However, it is possible to use "the cleverer" if there are only two in the comparison.
    - He was the cleverer of the two thieves.
    - He was the cleverer thief of the two.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think you might do well to avoid "cleverer" in favour of "more clever" - I think it sounds less awkward.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I don't often disagree with you, veli, but I'm happier to use "cleverer" than "more clever".
     
    Question
    He was the (clever)___thief of all.

    The answer is cleverest but i don't understand why the answer is cleverest and not than cleverer.
    It is "cleverest" because there are more than two thieves in the world.

    You can speak of "the cleverer" (or "the taller", "the older", "the richer", etc.) when you are making a comparison between two, and only two, people or things:

    John is the cleverer of the two brothers.

    While both London and Rome are old cities, Rome is by far the older of the two cities.

    When you have more than two, you do not use the comparative form, but must use the superlative:

    John was the cleverer man in Chicago.:cross:
    John was the cleverest man in Chicago.:tick:


    Of all the lions in Africa, Simba was the stronger.:cross:
    Of all the lions in Africa, Simba was the strongest.:tick:


    Prince Edward is the younger of Queen Elizabeth's three sons.:cross:
    Prince Edward is the youngest of Queen Elizabeth's three sons.:tick:
     
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