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Sam is the very most diligent student in the class.

Sam is much the most diligent student in the class.

Sam is by far the most diligent student in the class.

Do all of the above mean exactly the same to you? Thanks.
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AngliholicSam is the very most diligent student in the class.

Sam is much the most diligent student in the class.

Sam is by far the most diligent student in the class.

Do all of the above mean exactly the same to you? Thanks.

To me, only sentence 3 is correct.
Yes, 3 is the most natural.
2 could be accepted by some, see at the NYT:

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Marius HancuYes, 3 is the most natural.
2 could be accepted by some, see at the NYT:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=site%3Anytimes.com+%22is+much+the+most%22&btnG=Search

Thanks, Yoong and Marius.

But my grammar book states that all of them are valid, so are you sure what you said. Or is it my grammar book is out of date?
Angliholic
Marius HancuYes, 3 is the most natural.
2 could be accepted by some, see at the NYT:



Thanks, Yoong and Marius.

But my grammar book states that all of them are valid, so are you sure what you said. Or is it my grammar book is out of date?

Is the writer of the book a native speaker of English?
Hi Angliholic

Sam is the very most diligent student in the class. (It should be Sam is the most diligent student in the class. dilgent more diligent most diligent You cannot say very most diligent.)

Take another example. He the most hard-working boy.

Can you write "He the very most hard-working boy." ?

I leave you to decide.
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Thanks, Yoong.

I think it's a pretty old-fashioned pattern, yet it sounds not so bad to my ear.
AngliholicThanks, Yoong.

I think it's a pretty old-fashioned pattern, yet it sounds not so bad to my ear.

Hi Angliholic

To me, it is a very bad mistake, and sounds wrong to my Singaporean ear.
Hi Angliholic

You haven't told me whether the writer of the book is a native speaker of English? I'm just curious.

Best wishes
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