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Dear teachers,

In the following sentence why do we have a comparative and not a superlative? What's the difference between them, please?

"He had first picked her up in London, at one of his richer friend's."
Why not "RICHEST friend's"?

Regards,
Hela
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The idea is that the friend is rather rich, not extremely rich.

I can't find a reference at the moment, Hela, but I suppose it serves as some kind of intensifier as much as it indicates relative wealth.

That's one of your better inventions.
The sooner the better.

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Hi,

He had first picked her up in London, at one of his richer friend's.

Here's yet another way to look at it.

We have the adjectives rich, richer, richest. We can use these to divide our friends into groups. However, there is no reason why we always have to divide them into 3 groups. If we wish, we can just divide them into 2 groups. We can just say This group is richer than this group. So, this person is from the group that contains my richer friends. He/she is one of my richer friends.

I also have an additional point. One of must be followed by a plural, which in this case is friends. This means that the apostrophe should be written for a plural noun, ie

He had first picked her up in London, at one of his richer friends'. (meaning one of his richer friends' homes)

Best wishes, Clive
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HelaDear teachers,

In the following sentence why do we have a comparative and not a superlative? What's the difference between them, please?

"He had first picked her up in London, at one of his richer friend's."
Why not "RICHEST friend's"?

Regards,
Hela

Three groups of friends: one group is richer than the first group and another group is richer than the first two groups (i.e. the richest). The friend above comes from the second group.
 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
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