Scenario: There is a manager in a shop who works his very best to make sure the shop does well (financially). He cares for the shop as if he is the owner.

Can I convey this using the following sentence?

The shop has a manager, who, with his best intentions, runs the place.

  • I would use "effort" or "endeavor".
    – user24743
    Nov 21 '15 at 12:51
  • 4
    Idiomatically with the best [of] intentions normally comes after the relevant verb phrase, and is usually only used in contexts where even those best intentions fail to to achieve whatever was intended. Nov 21 '15 at 12:51
  • 1
    I think that "with single-minded devotion" does a better job of indicating the quality of the manager's approach that you are trying to convey.
    – Sven Yargs
    Nov 22 '15 at 0:03

Not really, because "with his best intentions, runs the place." can imply that, despite his best intentions, the place was a mess.

You could consider "The shop has a manager, who runs it so well it's as if he's the owner."


"With the best of intentions" is always followed by "but."

So most UK English speakers would e understand you to be saying, "This person tries very hard, and means well, but never manages to get it right."

Wikipedia shows that the phrase has been picked up by Byron, Kierkegaard etc etc etc.

  • 1
    That last one is reassuring.
    – Ricky
    Nov 21 '15 at 13:41
  • @Ricky Alas! marked [citation needed] I should have listed Karl Marx and Samuel Johnson.
    – Hugh
    Nov 21 '15 at 13:57
  • I'm afraid your first sentence isn't even approximately true. See COCA.
    – user230
    Nov 22 '15 at 23:08

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