(1) Mount Everest is the highest mountain 'in the world' (rather than 'of the world').
(2) Jack is the tallest boy 'in my class' (rather than 'of my class').
(3) That was the best movie 'of this summer' (rather than 'in this summer').
(4) Yesterday was the worst day 'of my life' (rather than 'in my life').
What is the rule in choosing 'in' or 'of' in sentences using the superlative adjectives?
Thank you in advance.
Well, your first two examples are spatial - i.e. they are describing a place, be it 'in the world' or 'in the class' or 'in next door neighbour's garden' or 'in my shoe' etc.
Examples three and four are temporal - i.e. they are describing a time, so it is 'of your day', or 'of my life' or 'of the last ten years' or 'of this decade' etc.
That's probably not the only reason why in/of occurs but it's the first one that jumps out at me.
Chilli. Thank you again. I agree with you that IN for PLACE and OF for TIME would be a good rule.
By the way you probably say "He is the worst president in the US history" instead of "of the US history". For me "the US history" sounds something like a time span. Do you feel a history is a PLACE?
The sentence should read: "He is the worst president in U.S. history." Omit "the."
But you can also say "Yesterday was the worst day in my life."
I'd say that differently. I'd say: "Yesterday was the worst day OF my life."
>>By the way you probably say "He is the worst president in the US history" instead of "of the US history". For me "the US history" sounds something like a time span. Do you feel a history is a PLACE?<<
That's where it will probably get tricky and my neat little rule will fall completely apart. I would hazard the guess that because 'in US history' is describing a place in time, that's why it becomes 'in' instead of 'of'. (Oh boy.) To tell the truth it's going to need someone WAY more advanced than me to explain this one properly.
>That's where it will probably get tricky and my neat little rule will fall completely apart.
I have thought over this problem again after the previous posting and I hit on one idea. I suppose English speakers old days thought a history is something like a story written in a book. If it's so, 'the worst president IN US history' would follow your rule of IN for PLACES. Do you agree?
Yeah, that's a good way to think of it.
Hi mjd, thank you for correcting the wrong addition of 'the'. Usage of articles is another problem of mine in speaking and writing English.