"a" and "the" usage question?

It says "Congratulations, You've got a best answer and 10 extra points!"

I thought that when you use words like "bets", "worst", "tallest" and so on you're supposed to use "the" in front of it. Could you explain why "a" is used?

(I'm not a native speaker of English, just trying to learn)

12 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your assumption about those pesky articles is correct. The reason you get "a" best answer is that you, especially as a top contributor, get quite a large number of best answers. The one you get is "the" best answer to that question but "a" best answer among all the best answers you accumulate.

  • 5 years ago

    I admire "excessive quotational mark" usage. Why they have become so popular that the term "air quote" is now in the dictionary. I adore commas...but that has more to do with Ding than the actual punctuation mark.

  • 1 decade ago

    The website has created a term "best answer." which has a separate meaning from the two words, if they were used alone. A "best answer" award is won if your answer is chosen as best by the "asker" (another made up word...) or, if they fail to vote, by a consensus of high level members allowed to vote on these issues.

    It would be more proper to say, "Your answer was chosen as the best answer by the person who asked the question." That would be simple and forthright. However, these are computer geeks, and they like to make things cute, and make up different terms of usage, usually because they did not do well in grammar class.

    It's cute!??? Don't you think it's cute??? LOL

  • 1 decade ago

    Yahoo would be more correct to place "best answer" in quotation marks, since the two words are being used together to describe the award.

    Congratulations and good luck on learning the English language. It is truly one of the most aggravating languages in the world to learn, due to all of its exceptions and irregularities. You are to be commended for even attempting to learn it – most Americans who only speak English would fare poorly at trying to learn another language than their own!

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think the reason is that they are monitoring many questions at the same time. If there were only one question at stake, then the correct response would be the best answer. But since there are multiple questions with multiple best answers,the best answer to a single question is only one among many best answers to many questions.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    best answer is being used as a noun here. best answer is a thing that you have won, so to speak.

    You've got a message...

    You've got a (thing)

    You've got a best answer.

    You gave "the" best answer and received "a" bonus.

    I may have just made this way more complicated.

    Hope not.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    guy above is wrong.

    they are using the term "best answer" as a term together.

    In normal English it would have to be the answer.

    but they are treating "best answer" as a term that they use.

    like you got a "strongest man in the world award"

    you say A and not The, because it is not the only strong man award in the world.


  • Scott
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    In this case the "A" defines the title of "Best Answer", which is no longer a verb but a subjective noun.

  • 1 decade ago

    'a' is generally used when there are more than one

    'the' is used when it is the ONLY one

    i think that yahoo got it wrong, technically, i think it should read, "your answer was chosen as the best answer" being there is only ONE best answer

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You're correct, if there is absolutely only one possible.

    But Yahoo! awards many such 'Best Answers' every day.

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