check it out http://www.nthuleen.com/teach/grammar/adjektivendungenexpl.html in special the last flow diagram. Very useful
Some people work better using the flow chart to determine the rules. Personally, I work better remembering the actual flat charts for each case and making mnemonics to remember them. At the very least it doesn't hurt to visualize where differences come into play.
For instance, once I identify weak or mixed inflections, it's makes it really easy to know that everything plural, genitive, or dative ends in -en.
It isn't strange. To try to put it into a scenario for you, after a boxing match, the loser might say in a post-fight interview "Today, Rocky was the better man, but I demand a rematch!". If one man is of higher quality than the other, he is the better man of the two. It's okay in English to assign "better" to a human. "Better man" is also a well known line from a famous poem "Gunga Din" by Kipling:
"Tho' I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!"
If it helps, here's a Pearl Jam song called "Better Man".
If it doesn't help...well...just enjoy the music. ;)
It's actually rather simple. When you're comparing just two things, you use the comparative. ("My apple is bigger than yours"). When you're comparing more than two things, you use the superlative ("My apple is the biggest in the world").
With the comparative, when you're comparing an arbitrary thing against a standard, you use the indefinite article ("This is a bigger apple than yours"), whereas when you're comparing and contrasting two specific things against each other, you use the definite article ("Mine is the bigger apple, yours is the smaller apple").
With the superlative though, it always takes the definite article. Sentences like "This is a biggest apple" are just ungrammatical.
So if you're comparing two specific men against each other, it makes total sense to point one out and say "He is the better man".
one of the dictionary hints for "bessere" is "mends one's ways". What does this mean? or is it wrong?
While superlative adjectives do generally require "the", comparative adjectives do not have any rules about articles.
"He is the better man"
"This is a better sandwich"
"These are better hammers"
In this case, the sentence is short for "He is the better man, out of these two." The last part is understood by context and the use of "better".
It has recently been discovered that some (unfortunate) users are getting different sounding audio once in a while depending on some unknown factor(s). I seem to be one of the unfortunate users, but I hear "er" here. See the three links at the end of this post if you're interested...
If it is just a question of not picking up the differences between the two words, fear not, a lot of people seem to have issues with "er" v.s. "ihr". Until you get the hang of it, try to remember to look at the rest of the sentence, especially the verbs. In this case, if it had been "ihr" and not "er", the verb that followed would have had to have been "seid" and not "ist". Also, you probably wouldn't say to multiple people that they are "der bessere Mann", but "die besseren Männer" (although sometimes Duo accepts and expects some weird stuff).
Links for those interested:
The post by backtoschool in the last link hopefully provides the proof to those that have no audio issues.
"Better" is comparative. "Best" is superlative. You use "best" when you're talking about more than two people, but "better" when you are comparing two people.
Talking about one person: He is a good man.
Talking about two people: He is the better man (of the two).
Talking about three or more people: He is the best man (of all).
Honestly, I do not agree with the answers I read (i had read them indeed). "Better" is a comparative. So, something is better than another thing. But a man is not the better, he is the best. He can be better THAN another man. I never heard or read "he is the better" but only "he is the best" or "he is better THAN". Jaye, are you the moderator? Could you post a grammar explanation for this?
No, I'm not the moderator just and EFL teacher. And I owe you an apology. I read all 34 comments and none are a clear explanation. So, here goes:
Usually when there are only two people (things etc) we can say:
"She is the better swimmer of the two."
Hope that helps. And again sorry I was so harsh.