Skip to main content

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Hi, Ahmed,

@Ahmed.A.A posted:

Hi, can "the least" be used before short adjectives like following:

"He is the least tall in the group."

According to the BBC site: "We tend not to use less and least to form comparatives / superlatives with one syllable adjectives, as short adjectives often have other words as their opposites."

- Your cooking is less bland than Mary's. - Your cooking is spicier than Mary's.
- It's less warm today, don't you think? - It's cooler today, don't you think?


So, using 'the least' before short adjectives is not ungrammatical, but sounds unnatural. "The least tall' doesn't sound natural, but it could work in some certain contexts. You know that basketball players are known to be tall. So, I think 'least tall' could work when we talk about them. 

Another example is used by Garner when he says that 'least worst' should be 'least bad'.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.