(the) most + adjective (without a noun)

Lashkoe

Member
Polish (Silesian dialect)
Which sentence out of these two is correct?

a) This is the woman I find most beautiful.

b) This is the woman I find the most beautiful.

I learned that when the superlative form of an adjective is followed by a noun then we're supposed to use the definite article eg. It's the most beautiful woman. But what if there's no noun after the superlative form? Is it still obligatory to use the article "the"?




 
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    The second sentence is the correct one, assuming you're comparing her to other women.

    The tricky thing here is that "most" can have two meanings. Take these two sentences (both are grammatically correct):
    She is the most beautiful woman. (She is more beautiful than any other woman.)
    She is a most beautiful woman. (She is a very beautiful woman.)

    Now, your two sentences:

    She is the woman I find most beautiful. (She is the one woman I find very beautiful.)
    She is the woman I find the most beautiful. (She is the one woman I find more beautiful than any other woman.)
    I think the second meaning is the one you want, isn't it?
     

    Lashkoe

    Member
    Polish (Silesian dialect)
    Well, it was just an example that sometimes the superlative form of an adjective is not followed by a noun and I'm just wondering if then it's still necessary to use the definite article before the word most. So if there's no noun after "most", do we still say the most or just most? Because I assume that we use the definite article in sentences like this one: It's the most beautiful womanI've ever seen referring to the noun (woman) but if there's no noun after the superlative form do we have to use "the" again or can we just simply say most?

    I don't know if it makes a lot of sense but it's bugging me... :D
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I assume that we use the definite article in sentences like this one: It's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen referring to the noun (woman) but if there's no noun after the superlative form do we have to use "the" again or can we just simply say most?
    Actually, most people I know would say, "She's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen." We don't usually refer to people as "it".
    If the sentence were "She's the most beautiful I've ever seen," would we still need "the" before "most"? Yes, we would.
     
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