David, Moderator posted:

Hello and welcome to the Grammar Exchange!

Mr President posted:

I answered .............. difficult questions. 
more   -    many    -    most    -    the most 
Regards 

All four answers are correct. Each has a different meaning.

Would you like to discuss anything?

Yes, please and I'd be grateful if you could include a reference.
@David, Moderator 

Hello, Mr. P and Tara,

Now we're getting somewhere. Let's examine each of those three sentences:

1. I answered most difficult questions.

That sentence may mean either (a) that most, but not all, difficult questions were answered by the speaker, or (b) that very difficult questions were answered by the speaker. For meaning (a), "most" is a quantifier. For meaning (b), "most" is an intensifier, like "very" or "really."

2. I answered more difficult questions.

That sentence may mean either (a) that the speaker answered additional difficult questions (he had already answered some difficult questions, and he then answered more) or (b) that the speaker answered questions that were of a greater degree of difficulty (more difficult) than those which he had answered before, or those which somebody else had answered. For meaning (a), "more" has a quantitative meaning. For meaning (b), "more" is a comparative adjective.

3. I answered many difficult questions.

That sentence means that there were many difficult questions that were answered by the speaker. The speaker didn't just answer a few difficult questions. He answered many (i.e., a lot of) difficult questions.

 

David, Moderator posted:

Hello, Mr. P and Tara,

Now we're getting somewhere. Let's examine each of those three sentences:

1. I answered most difficult questions.

That sentence may mean either (a) that most, but not all, difficult questions were answered by the speaker, or (b) that very difficult questions were answered by the speaker. For meaning (a), "most" is a quantifier. For meaning (b), "most" is an intensifier, like "very" or "really."

2. I answered more difficult questions.

That sentence may mean either (a) that the speaker answered additional difficult questions (he had already answered some difficult questions, and he then answered more) or (b) that the speaker answered questions that were of a greater degree of difficulty (more difficult) than those which he had answered before, or those which somebody else had answered. For meaning (a), "more" has a quantitative meaning. For meaning (b), "more" is a comparative adjective.

3. I answered many difficult questions.

That sentence means that there were many difficult questions that were answered by the speaker. The speaker didn't just answer a few difficult questions. He answered many (i.e., a lot of) difficult questions.

 

Hi David

What about "the most" please?

tara posted:
What about "the most" please?

Hi, Tara -- The sentence "I answered the most difficult questions" means that, in a set of questions of varying levels of difficulty (easy questions, slightly challenging questions, difficult questions, and very difficult questions), the speaker answered the questions that were the most difficult, i.e., the very difficult ones. The sentence can also be phrased like this: "I answered the questions that were the most difficult."

David, Moderator posted:
tara posted:
What about "the most" please?

Hi, Tara -- The sentence "I answered the most difficult questions" means that, in a set of questions of varying levels of difficulty (easy questions, slightly challenging questions, difficult questions, and very difficult questions), the speaker answered the questions that were the most difficult, i.e., the very difficult ones. The sentence can also be phrased like this: "I answered the questions that were the most difficult."

Thanks a lot

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×