fine in the sense *of very good quality * seems somewhat an abosulte adjective. Since absolute adjectives are not gradable, I am wondering whether this principle applies to fine in the sense ‘of very good quality’ as well?

p.s. why fine seems an absolute adj. to me: let’s consider the following etym. info of fine from old French fin ‘end’, cognate with Eng. finish These etym. info brings me such a semantic impression as ‘too good to be improved further’ or ‘so good as cannot be better’, whence I feel fine much like an ‘absolute adjective’ such as superior.

1 Answer 1


"fine quality" > "a very fine quality" > "the finest quality": all forms are usable

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