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Could anyone help me break down the grammatical structure in the sentence below? I understand 「~より」 indicates a superlative here, but I don’t fully understand how it combines with 「だれ 」. I am also not sure why 「なんだ」is needed here as well?

ぼくはだれよりかのじょがすきなんだ。

Thank you so much for your help!

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    Hate to complicate things, but that sentence can mean two very different things.
    – user4032
    Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 12:22

1 Answer 1

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より indicates a comparison rather than a superlative. In AよりB you are describing B with A as a reference. e.g.

AよりBがいい。
Compared to A, B is good. = B is better than A.
AよりBが高い。
Compared to A, B is tall. = B is taller than A.
AよりBが好き。
Compared to A, B is liked. = I like B more than A.

In your sentence your making a comparison with だれ (who). So you get:

ぼくはだれよりかのじょがすきなんだ。
For me, compared to who, the girl is liked.

Now that translation is obviously nonsense, but I hope it isn't too much of a leap of the imagination to see how that would become:

I like the girl more than anyone (else).

Where だれ ends up with the meaning of 'anyone' rather than 'who'.

As for the なんだ ending, this is an example of the 'explanatory の'. There are loads of questions about that on this site. Have a browse.

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    With regards to l'électeur's comment, this is the perfect translation, since it bears the same ambiguity: do I like the girl more than I like anyone else, or do I like her more than anyone else does?
    – Right leg
    Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 13:37

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