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General Writing and Grammar Help/Get the best of, out of, from someone

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Question
Dear Ted:

Do you say, "to get the best of someone," "to get the best out of someone," or "to get the best from someone"?

If all three are possible, do they mean the same thing?

If not, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Again, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Do you say, "to get the best of someone," "to get the best out of someone," or "to get the best from someone"?

If all three are possible, do they mean the same thing?

*** TO GET THE BEST OF SOMEONE means that you have beaten or conquered the other person.  If you have "bested" him, you are the winner OR you have taken the upper hand.

For example:  In their chess games, Jack has always beaten Jim.  Jack has gotten the BEST of Jim.

*** TO GET THE BEST OUT OF/FROM SOMEONE -- These two phrases mean the same thing.  

EXAMPLES:

The coach pushes his player to perform exceptionally.  He tries to GET THE BEST OUT OF THEM.
[He tries to GET THE BEST FROM THEM MEANS THE SAME THING.]

Paolo even though these two mean the same, BEST FROM is better, because using two prepositions such as "out of" is not the best practice.  However, both idioms are used with frequent regularity.

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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