Example: Honda and Toyota are one the best selling cars in the US.

Is the use of "one" correct in the above sentence since the subject is plural (Honda and Toyota)? I realize i could put "two" or "some" instead but wouldn't the meaning change slightly? I feel if you say "one of the best" then it means it is somewhere on top but not necessarily the very top, whereas if you say "two of the most" then that means they are the very top two. Or is it just in my head?

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    'One' is absolutely incorrect since you are talking about two things. "X of the best" does not have different meanings for different values of X; perhaps you are thinking of the difference between "... are the two best" (that is, numbers 1 and 2) and "... are two of the best" (that is, somewhere near the top).
    – Hellion
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 20:54

2 Answers 2


The sentence is grammatically and logically incorrect. Using two items and referring to them as one and singular is a contradiction. A couple examples of how to construct the sentence would be "Honda and Toyota are two of the best selling car makers in the US." or "Honda and Toyota are each one of the best selling car makers in the US."

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    Bacon and eggs is one of the best ways to start the day, in my opinion. Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 21:17

No, technically the use of "one" is incorrect, yet such a phrase is common in most American English speech.

As you said, the subject of the sentence is plural, and the verb "are", reflects this (as apposed to "is"). This makes the singular word "one" completely out of the question.


If we add the word "of" - to make "one of" - then you got yourself a sentence (I am reasonably sure you just erroneously forgot the "of", but I figured its still a good point to make). Consider the phrase "one of" as a synonym for "among". This way, your sentence reads: "Honda and Toyate are among the best selling cars in the US"

I hope this clarifies this particular usage.

As for the superlative nature, typically in English the meaning of superlative is slightly augmented by the use of determiners. If you use an indefinite article as the determiner ("a" or "an"), you get what you were describing as "somewhere on top but not necessarily the very top"; a relevant example would be: "Honda and Toyota are a top-selling cars". But, to produce the "very top" you use the definite article "the", as in: "Honda and Toyota are the top selling cars". (also notice the use of indefinite vs. definite articles in this paragraph, if you are unsure on that lol).

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