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Normally, the adjective "main" is used to mean "the most important", but can I also use it to mean "one of the most important" if preceded by an indefinite article?

For example:

That area was a main marketplace in Rome. (one of the most important)

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No, you don't use the indefinite article "a" before the adjective main if you want to use it to mean "most important". The correct sentence is:

That area was the main marketplace in Rome.

However, if there are more such marketplaces, you can say:

That area was one of the main marketplaces in Rome.

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  • You could also say, "That area was a major marketplace in Rome," since major means "important" without the superlative sense of main. Commented Nov 30, 2017 at 16:04
  • @CanadianYankee, Yes, we can.
    – Khan
    Commented Nov 30, 2017 at 17:42

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