Superb dancer. Is it sounds unnatural?

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bonbon2023

Senior Member
Korean(south)
1.Superb dancer 2.Superb insect. 3.Superb product 4.Superb athlete

Hello people. I wonder whether those phrases(1~4) sound unnatural or not.
If there's any word sounds weird to you. Please let me know.
I would be glad to know your opinions.
 
Last edited:
  • scrotgrot

    Senior Member
    English - English
    Only the second one is unnatural. A superb dancer is good at dancing, a superb athlete is good at athletics, a superb product is good at whatever it's made for, but a superb insect is good at ... being an insect? It's just not the sort of thing that has degrees of ability attached to it.

    The only time you might say superb insect is when commenting on your friend's butterfly collection or something, where there is a clear value judgement to be made based on how pretty/large the preserved insects are.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    There is no correct answer. For instance, the phrase "superb insect" would sound unnatural in a rap song, and natural in a BBC nature documentary.

    It's hard to know what you're asking, because there is no context and you do not explain why you are concerned about these phrases or how you came across them.
     

    bonbon2023

    Senior Member
    Korean(south)
    Thank you and I made some sentences reflecting your suggestions. Please look the sentences below. Do these sentences sound natural?

    1.Amanda is an outstanding dancer at the dancing academy. I think she's superb dancer.
    2.I saw a superb butterfly collection in the nearby museum.
    3.Now we offer superb mayonnaise products in our store!
    4.Thomas is outstandingly superb athlete of his group.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    There are errors in your sentences, but the phrases with "superb" seem fine.

    What are you trying to ask? Why do you think that these phrases with "superb" are problematic?

    "Superb" is not a very common word in contemporary American English, so these sentences might sound surprising, but not unnatural. Have you looked at the resources here for finding words used in actual contexts? That might help give you a sense of what kind of people use the word "superb."
     

    bonbon2023

    Senior Member
    Korean(south)
    There are errors in your sentences, but the phrases with "superb" seem fine.

    What are you trying to ask? Why do you think that these phrases with "superb" are problematic?

    "Superb" is not a very common word in contemporary American English, so these sentences might sound surprising, but not unnatural. Have you looked at the resources here for finding words used in actual contexts? That might help give you a sense of what kind of people use the word "superb."
    Hello lucas-sp. I've seen some phrases and sentences using 'superb' on the advertisements. And I supposed maybe if I want to praise someone or to show my surprise, the word 'superb' fit for that situation.
    And I went through some threads containing 'superb' but I couldn't sure about the usage.
    Perhaps 'superb' fits for in formal situation. Right?
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    No, it's not that the word is formal. To me it implies (in what it's talking about) a degree of refinement and rarity beyond just saying "great"; I might say that my favorite baseball player is great, but I might describe the Kobe steak I once had at a wonderful restaurant as superb.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    There's a general linguistic rule: use a marked word for a marked situation. The word "superb" is marked, meaning it isn't normally used to call things "great" or "excellent." ("Great," "excellent," "awesome" - all of those could be unmarked.) So only in an exceptional situation should you use this exceptional word - an exceptional formal situation or an exceptional casual situation, either way.
     

    bonbon2023

    Senior Member
    Korean(south)
    There's a general linguistic rule: use a marked word for a marked situation. The word "superb" is marked, meaning it isn't normally used to call things "great" or "excellent." ("Great," "excellent," "awesome" - all of those could be unmarked.) So only in an exceptional situation should you use this exceptional word - an exceptional formal situation or an exceptional casual situation, either way.
    I suppose superb is the adjective can't be used in front of human, animal or insect. So 'superb' would be used when refer to something(object, product, collection, etc).
    But would you please give me some exceptional situations which "superb" can be used? pob14, lucas-sp. Thank you again.
     
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