Is that

"Here is the second most beautiful place if not the first."

sentence a way of polite saying of "I think it's the most beautiful place"?

Or there actually exists the most beautiful place in another place?


1 Answer 1


Here is the second most beautiful place, if not the first.

This means that the originator of the remark can't make up his mind how to rank the places for beauty, or else wishes to give that impression. The statement is in the form of a rhetorical figure known as metanoia, which for further understanding you may wish to look at this answer on Writers Stackexchange—especially the part that says "Sometimes the device more specifically suggests a conflict within the speaker. Different views or impulses audibly struggle for mastery."

  • Good explanation. I’d like to add that OP asked if this was “polite” – I’d view it more as poetic than polite.
    – J.R.
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 12:01

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