I attempted to translate this:

The Master created humans first as the lowest type, most easily formed.

by saying:

Der Herr hat Menschen am Anfang als den niedrigsten Typ geschaffen, der das Einfachste zu bilden ist.

But I was corrected to this:

Der Herr hat Menschen am Anfang als den niedrigsten Typ geschaffen, der am Einfachsten zu bilden ist.

How is the addition of the preposition explained? Here are similar examples that did not require the preposition: https://bit.ly/3HLs84J

Let me clarify that I am concerned only with German grammar here, not with meaning. If the grammar is correct, in any context of meaning, then that would be satisfactory for my purposes.


1 Answer 1


You are intending a superlative in adverbial/predicative use (so a lowercase initial letter is required). The superlative is formed with am, as shown in examples (see e. g. lingolia:

  • Friederike läuft am schnellsten. (adverbial/predicative use, as in your example)
  • Sie ist die schnellste Läuferin (adjectival use).
  • No, I don't think so. It is the simplest thing. Not the simplest type of a particular thing. Although the English does contain the word, "type", it is referring to a thing in general. See: bit.ly/3HLs84J.
    – user44591
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 14:17
  • Your reference gives a nominalization, which is inappropriate in the example subclause. I can't recognize, what type should change in respect to grammar.
    – guidot
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 14:25
  • 2
    @user44591 The English text also uses the adverb easily which specifies the verb formed, not the type or the human. If you want this meaning you would have to write something like "...the easiest one..." (Of course the whole clause "most easily formed" refers to the type or the human.)
    – Bodo
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 14:38

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