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Not really. Correct usage is to use "better" when comparing two students and "best" for more than two: "(between her and her brother,) she is the better student"; "she is the best student (in the class)". In common speech, best is often used for both (I know I do).
"She is the better student" is completely normal in English given the right context.
In context, I think in English we would usually use the indefinite article, because I agree that "the better student" doesn't sound right. Say two teacher are talking about two students, they would say "She is a better student."
This really got me thinking of the context in this case. Thanks for the comment. I think though that using the "definite" fits with a situation in which the two students are known (are previously "defined"). It might be helpful to add "of the two" to the sentence. "She is the better student of the two" or "Between these two student, she is the better student." Using the indefinite doesn't quite work. Would you use the indefinite in these instances? It would sound awkward to my ears, but perhaps our demographics are different.
Yes, that is the definition of definite article. We know the two students. Adding "by the two" would be tautological since "the better" can only be used with two. Using the indefinite article turns the phrase into a comparison rather than superlative. It's not a matter of demographics is pure and simple grammar in both British and US English (can't speak for other countries).
So, let's see if I've understood you...
This sentence would mean that there are only two students, and "Sie" is the best of them two (but since they're only two you use "better" instead of "best", so you do the same in German), is that right?
Sorry, I'm not a native English nor German speaker, and in my mother tongue we use the same form for comparatives and superlatives - kinda difficult for me-! >.<
Thanks a lot!
Yes, you understood that exactly. Don't worry when you have questions come here for clarification. (Oh, here's a secret: many people use "the best" for everything, but it's more in spoken English. You just go on with Duo style.)
you are totally right body ^_^ , "the best " is better than " the better " here
I have read the discussion but I agree with Mariagra and can't hide the fact that I still find the answer a bit weird. It is OK that in German better is bessere and that best is beste, however, "She is the better student" does not sound like proper, or at least, usual English. Translations do not need to be literal. I understand that within a very particular context it might make sense, but in most cases, that is not the usual form. I many cases when translating requires one to have the freedom to adapt an idea to a form that sounds more natural in a given language. "a better student" would make more sense in English than "the better student", even if in spoken language many people mix the two forms. For fairness, variations such as "She is the best student" should be accepted by Duolingo. Unless the question specifies the context: between two students, but not that student in comparison with the whole class - which everyone has to admit, is a pretty weird example!!!
Its not the first irregularity in Duo german...i think its too much for the author to take care of every aspect of examples, so we shouldnt try to find a needle in every haystake...we should just take the knowledge and move along...and be happy for the internet, android, smartphones, duo programs etc
Does the schulerin indicate that both students being compared are female? If it does, how would the sentence change in the event that it was one male and one female being compared?
No it doesn't. Schülerin was employed as a consequence of "sie" which is female. "Er" would have meant we used "schüler". So all this statement reveals is that one of the students is a female.
Hi!, in German they make a difference between students from primary school, junior high or high school as "Schüler" for boys and "Schülerin" for girls and students from university. The Student or Studentin is just used for people studying university and just that. And Schüler is for other types of schools.
Also, "lernen" is studying whatever that is not a college degree, including languages, math from high school, literature in junior high, etc... and "studieren" is exclusively for a university degree...
I don´t know well why, but they make this difference. Hope it helps =)
Schulerin is for students that go to school. Studentinne is for college students
But best should also be accepted since there is no reference to the fact that are only two students!
On the oft-discussed matter of how natural something sounds in English, as a native speaker from the northeast USA, "she is the better student" sounds perfectly reasonable to me, in the right context.
What brought be here though was wondering how come bessere doesn't use ß. What's the rule for when ss can be ß?
Is the 'e' on the end of 'bessere' because it uses Weak Inflection, is Feminine, and 'Schülerin' is Accusative?
Almost! "Schülerin" is actually nominative here. "Sein" is what's known as a copulative or linking verb, which shows "being" instead of an action performed on the object, so the noun in the predicate is in the nominative instead of the accusative. (It's the same reason we're taught to say "It is I" in English instead of "It is me.") Others are "werden" and "bleiben."
Is it correct to say "Sie ist die bessere Schülerin", why not "Sie ist die beste Schülerin"?
Sie ist die bessere Schülerin = She's the better student
Sie ist die beste Schülerin = She's the best student
No, because "ist" is not a second person form of the verb "sein." In other words, "you are" would conjugate as "Sie sind," or "du bist."
I think that if you read the comments here you'll see that this is a rather unusual, though correct, use of "the".
Why isn't it "the best pupil"? "The better" doesn't same very right in english, do it?
If there's only two pupils, "the better pupil" is fine (and "the best pupil" is arguably wrong). But no one would really say it that way. "She is a better pupil" (or, more commonly, "a better student") sounds much better. And if there are three or more students, "the best pupil/student" is right and sounds fine.
Is that only my problem? I can't see all possibilities on my screen. So I can't finish many lessons. Like this one. I only can see " besseren", not "bessere". There is problem only in new graphic design. Not in past. Thank you for answer.