2

Let's sat I have a set of 10 different positive numbers. I want to pick the 4 with the smaller (or smallest?) value. Should I say "the four smaller values" or "the four smallest values"?

In other words, which of the following is correct?

1, 2, 3, 4 are the smaller positive natural numbers

1, 2, 3, 4 are the smallest positive natural numbers

1

Smaller is used when you are comparing.

in a list like: 5, 8, 20, 15, 7, 2

15 is smaller than 20

The smallest number is 2

The four smallest numbers in this list are: 2, 5, 7 and 8.

So your answer would be:

1, 2, 3, 4 are the smallest positive natural numbers.

|improve this answer|||||
  • The answer "would be" or it is? (Also I edited your question to get rid of the mark up text. – green_ideas Aug 22 '17 at 21:31
  • @Cássio Salles, thank you for the answer. By picking up four numbers I am implicitly doing a comparison among all the numbers. Therefore, I am not still certain that the comparative form is "wrong". By instinct I could say "the four smaller numbers", but I am not a native speaker. Therefore, I leave the question open to more answers. – orestis21 Aug 24 '17 at 8:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.