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I have come across the below sentence:

Watching sports is a very social pastime and best experienced at the place where the match is unfolding.

I believe here "best" is used as an adverb. But I am not familiar with this usage of "best". Can somebody clear me on how to use this word as an adverb and the appropriate structure with it?

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Your example already shows how to use "best" as an adverb. It is also a superlative, like "greatest", or "highest", so just as you would use it as an adjective to show that something is the ultimate example of it's kind when used as an adverb you do so to indicate that the adjective it precedes is to the highest degree possible.

In your example "experienced" is the past tense of the verb to experience, not describing someone as having experience of something. So "best experienced" means the best way to experience something.

  • I was mainly confused because "the" is used with all the superlatives. – Lutfur Rahman Apr 3 at 14:33
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    @LutfurRahman Sure, and you and say something "is the best" of a set of things, but when you are talking about something being "best used.." you are talking about the best use, rather than the thing itself being the best. For example, using a different superlative, you would say "The sun is highest in the sky at midday". You don't say the sun is the highest because you aren't comparing the sun with anything, rather comparing its height at various times. – Astralbee Apr 3 at 15:28
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    now I am clear. – Lutfur Rahman Apr 4 at 7:23
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Watching sports is a very social pastime and Watching sports is best experienced at the place where the match is unfolding.

Best here is used as an adverb as it provides the description of the experience of watching sport (verb) "at the place where the match is unfolding.".

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There are a couple of ways you can rephrase the example that might make it easier to understand. All of these are grammatically correct:

  • Watching sports is a very social pastime and best experienced at the place where the match is unfolding.
  • Watching sports is a very social pastime that is best experienced at the place where the match is unfolding.
  • Watching soccer is best experienced at the stadium.
  • Watching soccer is best at the stadium.
  • Hockey is best watched at home.
  • Chess is best played with friends.
  • I play soccer poorly, basketball well, and hockey best.

In each of these cases, "best" is modifying (acting on) the closest verb.

In your example "experienced" is the verb that is receiving best. It may be confusing because sometimes, "experienced" is also used as an adjective (meaning expert) (link).

He is a very experienced carpenter.

Here, it is a verb in the past tense:

I experience, I am experiencing, I have experienced it, I have experienced it best.

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