Sunday, March 25, 2012

Meilleur vs Mieux

Like bon and bien, meilleur and mieux can be confusing. Meilleur is the comparative and superlative form of bon (good), while mieux is the comparative and superlative form of bien (well). When translating into English, there is no difference between meilleur and mieux.

Meilleur Mieux English
comparative meilleur(e)(s) mieux better
superlative le(s)/la meilleur(e)(s) le(s)/la mieux the best

Il a une bonne place.   Il veut une meilleure place.   Il veut la meilleure place.
He has a good seat.
He wants a better seat.
He wants the best seat.

C'est un bon film.
C'est un meilleur film.
C'est le meilleur film.
It's a good movie.
It's a better movie.
It's the best movie.

Elle s'habille bien.
Il s'habille mieux.
Je m'habille le mieux.
She dresses well.
He dresses better.
I dress the best.

J'écris bien.
Tu écris mieux (que moi).
Il écrit le mieux (de tout).
I write well.
You write better (than I).
He writes the best (of all).
With some verbs like être, mieux is usually used. Meilleur is correct only when it is modifying a noun found in the sentence.

Je vais mieux maintenant. I'm doing/feeling better now.    Cette loi est meilleure. This law is better.
Luc est mieux comme ami. Luc is better as a friend.
Je la trouve meilleure. I think it's better.
C'est mieux de dire la vérité. It's better to tell the truth.

1 comment:

  1. Bravo pour ton billet Arash,
    I also tell my students
    to memorise BON,BONNE = MEILLEUR,MEILLEURE et BIEN+ MIEUX. Since BETTER can be translated by MEILLEUR and MIEUX, in order to choose the right one, they need to go a step backward and replace Better in their sentence by either good or well and see which one makes sense.
    It's a better film : it's a well film ??? Has to be Meilleur.
    I would use the grammatical terminology of Adjective and Adverb but some of my British students would be put off.
    PS: I like your blog on sustainable farming.