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In Basic English Grammar 4th Edition by Betty Azar, there is a lesson in chapter 15, the last chapter of the book, introducing a very common structure in English:

A) One of the + Superlative + Plural Noun

For example: London is one of the biggest cities in the world.

The rule chart says that "one of the" is usually followed by the superlative form of the adjective and by a plural noun.

My question is:

Can you provide me examples for the following structures, which may not be as common as the above structure, but no less valid:

B) One of the + Comparative Adjective + Plural Noun

Example: Edinburgh is one of the bigger cities in Britain.

C) One of the + Adjective Base Form + Plural Noun

Example: Newcastle is one of the big cities in England.

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Carrots are one of the sweeter root vegetables.

"Carol of the Bells" is one of the more joyous Christmas songs.

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I ran a few queries in the American Corpus.

It found 67,435 instances of the phrase "one of the + adjective" for all adjective forms (base, comparative, superlative.)

It found 28,966 instances of the phrase "one of the + superlative adjective" and 2012 of "one of the + comparative adjective."

That gives you an idea of the relative frequency.

Google ngrams (a query over books) indicates that "one of the most" is the most frequent phrase, but other frequent adjectives are both the base form and other superlatives.

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=one+of+the + &year_start=1960&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t2%3B%2Cone%20of%20the%20%2A%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bone%20of%20the%20most%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bone%20of%20the%20first%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bone%20of%20the%20few%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bone%20of%20the%20best%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bone%20of%20the%20two%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bone%20of%20the%20major%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bone%20of%20the%20great%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bone%20of%20the%20greatest%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bone%20of%20the%20main%3B%2Cc0%3B%3Bone%20of%20the%20three%3B%2Cc0


If you search on "one of the most,one of the more", you can see an indication of the relative frequency of superlatives and comparatives.

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Comments  

Thanks Englishmaven and Alpheccastars for your replies. This confirms that the other structures are also sound, though not as common.

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Since all the above structures are valid, how about the shades meaning of these three structures:

A) One of the + Base Adjective + Plural Noun:

London is one of the big cities in Europe.

B) One of the + Comparative Adjective + Plural Noun:

London is one of the bigger cities in Europe.

C) One of the + Superlative Adjective + Plural Noun:

London is one of the biggest cities in Europe.


My semantic analysis of these three structures is as follows:

1. Structure A suggests that London is big.

2. structure B suggests that London is very big.

3. structure C suggests that London is extremely big.


Do native speakers of English agree with the given semantic interpretation of the above patterns?