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Can I use the below sentences about "how does it taste" or "how is it selling itself" ?

Which beer works best ? They all work best.

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    best means best They can't all be best. They could all be the same in which case no one is better than the others. – Jim Dec 19 '14 at 20:18
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    depends what you mean by 'work'. The beer that works best for drunkenness is the one with the most alcohol. The one that works best for driving home is the one with the least. – Tetsujin Dec 19 '14 at 20:20
  • @Tetsujin: My local pub sells a beer that's specially formulated to work in slug beer traps. But it doesn't work so well for getting people drunk, because it tastes so foul you can't drink enough of it to experience that particular beneficial effect. – FumbleFingers Dec 20 '14 at 1:57
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Yes, you can use the word work to mean is well-suited for some particular use.

Likewise, you can use the phrase will work best to mean will work better than the other options that we have.

Here are some examples:

We are going to my cousin's wedding in two months. I booked us a room at the Holiday Inn.
That will work.

In that example, "That will work" means, "That will be an acceptable lodging arrangement."

We are going to need some beer for the golf tournament next weekend. I bought six cases of Heineken and six cases of Molson.
That works for me.

In that example, "That works for me" means, "I don't have any objections to what you bought."

You look thirsty, so I just ordered you a beer.
Sorry, I'm the designated driver tonight. That's not going to work.

In that example, "That's not going to work" means, "I'm not going to drink the beer you ordered [because I'm not drinking any beer tonight]."

You look thirsty, so I just ordered you a Pepsi.
That works.

In that example, "That works" means, "Thanks, I'll be happy to drink a Pepsi."


As for works best, that works when the context provides some options to choose from:

We can keep Mickey in public school, or we can move him to private school next year.
I think private school would work best.

In that example, "would work best" means, "is the better option [between those two]."

So, I probably wouldn't use work to mean best-selling or best-tasting, although these might factor in on why something might "work." For example, going back to the golf tournament:

We need some beer for the golf tournament, so I bought six cases of Heineken and six cases of Molson.
I think that will work; those are pretty popular beers.

meaning, "It's unlikely the golfers will grumble about those two choices."

Or:

We need some beer for the golf tournament, so I bought six cases of Heineken and six cases of Molson.
I hope that will work; it might have been better to buy three cases of each and offer more variety.

  • Excellent explanation for me. Thanks. More explanation are more than welcome. – Marek Dec 19 '14 at 23:37

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