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Best or Better ? That is the question…

Meilleur & Mieux both mean better or best when translated to English, but in French they have different meanings and which one you use depends on what you are trying to say. Deciding whether you need meilleur or mieux is essentially a question of deciding between bon and bien (See the lesson on Bon & Bien)  , but in a comparative or superlative construction

BETTER : MEILLEUR OR MIEUX ?

  1.  Ce fromage est meilleur que l’autre                 This cheese is better than the other one
  1. Je comprends et parle mieux français que toi maintenant.      I understand and speak better French than you now

 Notes:

  1. In the first example, we have to use MEILLEUR because it describes the word “fromage”, how this cheese is compared to the other one. So it plays the role of a describing word or adjective.
  1. In the second sentence, we must use MIEUX because it describes the action of speaking and understanding French. So it describes a doing word

   (THE)BEST: MEILLEUR OR MIEUX

  1. C’est la meilleure chose à faire             It’s the best thing to do
  1. C’est le mieux !                                          It’s the best !

In the superlative form (The best…) you have to agree with the object it refers to. Look at the table below :

 

Forms of meilleurForms of mieuxEnglish translation
Le meilleur (masculine singular)Le mieux (masculine, singular)The best
La meilleure (feminine, singular)La mieux (feminine, singular)The best
Les meilleurs (masculine, plural)Les mieux (fem&masc, plural)The best
Les meilleures (feminine, plural)The best

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