# Second Best

###### go_manly
September 03, 2010, 09:57 PM posted in I Have a Question

If 'best' is 最好的 (zuìhǎo de), 'tallest' is 最高的 (zuìgāo de),what is 'second best', 'second tallest'?

It isn't as simple as 第二好的 is it? For example, how do you say 'second tallest building in the world'?

###### bababardwan
September 03, 2010, 10:15 PM

“第二个最好” gets 1,530,000 hits on google.

wa, strange:“第二个最好的” gets 30,800,000. I've never encountered a situation where adding something at the end ..in this case the "de" returns more results. It doesn't make sense. It would make sense if it was in the middle of the phrase.

“第二个最高的”。。41，400

“摩天大楼是在世界上第二个最高的”。。。0 results, hehe.

“第二个最高的摩天大楼在世界上”。。。0

###### go_manly

I never think of using Google. It seems like you've answered my question though.

###### bababardwan

Actually, sorry, but I couldn't come up with an answer to your last question that got some back up from google . I guess google just gives some idea....I'm not sure what to make of a million hits for 第二个最好 for example. To me it says that it's not likely to be totally wrong, but it doesn't tell me if it's the most natural way to say it or not. I guess it's about trying to get a feel for the numbers....the longer the quoted phrase the lower the number your going to expect. The more obscure the thing your talking about the lower the number also. I just had an idea of how to get a feel for the numbers. Try the same phrase in English. ok, "second best" gets 3,570,000 hits on google. Ok, that's going to be my feeler from now on for interpreting those numbers. So that tends to suggest to me that 30,800,000 hits for di er ge zui hao de is pretty ridgy-didge

###### bababardwan

ps I don't think using google this way should stop you from asking good questions like this. It's still worth getting an authoritative opinion if possible.

###### go_manly

I have no doubt that you've found the correct way.

Anyway, 现在，我要去上中文课。

###### RJ

baba

:“第二个最好的” only gets 1,440,000 - you must have clipped off one of the quotation marks. (which allows it to find those characters in any order)

ridgy didge only returns about 20,000 btw.

###### bababardwan

Well RJ, I agree that would explain it. I don't have that tab up anymore to check, but I've just double checked by re-entering ...copying and pasting now [that is coping and pasting the whole including the quotation marks and not adding the quotation marks after] :

“第二个最好的” ..still gives 30,800,000

..maybe the great firewall of china is blocking what they can to the US, hehe. go figure. I agree my result doesn't make sense given the de-de'd came up with less.

###### bababardwan

Maybe you can spot my mistake here:

###### bababardwan

hehe, just noticed this:

"ridgy didge only returns about 20,000 btw"

..I must be a 1 in 1000 Aussie. Too bad I can't make it to 1 in a million. ;)

###### bababardwan

Hopefully this will make it easier to check:

###### bababardwan

sorry, I had a bit of trouble re-sizing it, and now seem to have over done it, but should be very easy to see now, hehe. If I've cuo'd, it should now be glaring.

###### bababardwan

btw , without the quotation marks, di er ge zuihaode gives me 63,300,000. I guess I'm just privy to more Chinese...must be inside the circle of trust,hehe.

###### xiaophil

I wonder if this sentence is natural in Chinese: 他是倒数第二最好的

###### bababardwan

I'm glad you raised that sentence. I have a comic where the teacher says to the kid:

..and I was trying to get my head around what exactly 倒数第一

。。ok, so to me literally that would mean to count down or to count down to number one...to first.

So in the above sentence my understanding is:

your exam results this time, the whole class counted down to number one.

So I'm not sure of a few things here...basically to do with what was the best result, and which direction the counting went. I mean to count down to number one to me suggests you're starting with the worst result and then counting down to number one..the best result in the class. I should explain that this kid's character seems a little like Bart Simpson. So I know from context that he would have gotten the worst result. So are they saying that they counted down to his result ..number one which was the worst. I guess it would make most sense if it was his result [ the worst] and then counted down through the whole classes results to number one [ some other kids result]. Any insights in 倒数第一 and the above sentence?

###### bababardwan

ps "他是倒数第二最好的" got 0 hits on google, so perhaps it needs tweeking.

###### RJ

Trust me, you're one in a million. hehe. I am losing all faith in google - the reason I put forth my hypothesis as to how you got that number was I got the same when I removed the quotes. Now I get 60,000,000 without quotes but I still get 1,440,000 when I enter it correctly. I dont think you did anything wrong although I am not sure as one was too small to see and the other had me laughing so hard I couldnt see through the tears in my eyes. I give up. When you figure it out you tell me.

I did notice one difference - you seem to be searching only pages from australia. hmmm. The odd thing is that my searches seem to match all your other numbers just fine.

###### bababardwan

Hang on a tic...I'm investigating...it's stops at page 29 of the results after displaying 288 returns before asking if you want the similar omitted ones displayed..I'll check them out..back soon

###### bababardwan

ok, well displaying the omitted results meant I could only get to page 52..so the first 520 zuoyou. Up to that point it was obeying the quotion marks [it allowed for traditional ge]. What if you're particularly interested in result number 30,799,999 ?...I'd like to check that one out.

###### go_manly

OK, so now what if I wanted to say a particular magazine rates someone amongst the 100 most beautiful women in Australia.

###### bababardwan

found this:

There is a hard limit of 1,000 results returned by Google. At present time there is no way to override the limit, however you might try the date range trick Wally suggested as a circumvention.

..don't know why it stopped just over 500 then.