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Reply to "the use of ‘still’ in a sentence"

@Maxine posted:

Mike loves watching the birds, but better still he likes going shopping.

Is the word ‘still’ used at the right place of the sentence? The sentence sounds weird to me.

I’d be grateful for any explanations.

Hi, Maxine—There are two independent clauses in that sentence ("Mike loves watching birds" and "he likes going shopping"), and they are coordinated by the conjunction "but." "Better still" (a variation of "better yet") is a parenthetical expression introducing the second independent clause.

  • Mike loves watching birds. Better still, he likes going shopping.
  • Mike loves watching birds. Better yet, he likes going shopping.

The idea is that, although the fact that Mike loves watching birds is good, the fact that Mike likes going shopping is even better / still better / better yet.