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As best one can?? Options
Toughlove
Posted: Monday, February 15, 2021 4:52:15 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 1/11/2021
Posts: 6
Neurons: 1,110
"My colleague had a bit of an accident on his way to work and got himself injured. So I took out the first aid kit and patched him up as best I could."

"Mike really wanted to make her birthday special and he just went all out for the party. He baked the cake, prepared the food and drinks and decorated the room as best he could."

Am I using the phrase correctly?
thar
Posted: Monday, February 15, 2021 6:56:49 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 24,217
Neurons: 98,089
It means doing what you can despite the obstacles.

So with first aid it works.
He was bleeding and his arm was broken and you are not a doctor. All you had is a first aid kit so you used some gauze to stem the blood and a sling to support his arm. But someone else could have done the job much better - eg a paramedic or a doctor in a clinic. You did it as best you could but you were severely limited in what you could do.


So in the second one it suggests there were reasons why he couldn't decorate the room much. It was really not very good - a couple of paper chains and a few balloons. But it was the best he could do in that constrained situation because he had no time, or no money for supplies, or because they were inside a concrete bunker sheltering from a war. He did the best he could in the circumstances. It doesn't mean he did his best and so produced a wonderfully-decorated room.


So it is correctly used but be aware its making a excuse for the result not being all that good.

Quote:
as best you can
From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
as best you can
spoken
as well as you can, even if this is not very good
I’ll try and fix it as best I can.

tautophile
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 11:16:41 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/14/2018
Posts: 1,529
Neurons: 33,822
Actually the phrase is "as well as I can" or "as well as I could", or "the best I can" or "the best I could", but colloquial and informal usage mixes those to give "as best I can/could" or "as best as I can/could", and few people will object--or even notice. Not to be confused with "asbestos I can".
thar
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 12:18:59 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 24,217
Neurons: 98,089
Not for everyone. 'as best I can ' is correct in British English.
The other version sounds wrong in BrE.



In BrE

Normal grammar
+ Adverb

As well as I can
As quickly as I could
Etc

Or superlative ,'the best'
I will do the best [that] I can

This phrase only:

As best I can

No 'as'.
Just with 'best', no other superlaties.

Quote:
as best you can
mainly UK
It
as well as you can:
It is a difficult passage, but just translate it as best you can.


https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/best

So it may depend on which variation of English you are learning.
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