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April 13, 2015 - Word of the Day

most

 

The word "most" is often used to form a superlative adjective. A superlative adjective shows that something is of the greatest degree or amount within a group that numbers more than three:

  • My math class is more difficult than my history class. (comparative adjective: more difficult)
  • Of all my classes, this math class is the most difficult. (superlative adjective: most difficult)

The word "most" is commonly used when describing facts and opinions:

  • Whole Foods is the most expensive grocery store in this area.
  • Getting married was the most difficult decision he ever made.
  • This is the most comfortable couch in the store.
  • The most beautiful flower in our garden is an Iris.

iris

The word "most" is also used in front of a noun when describing an amount that is larger than other amounts:

  • This tree produces the most apples.
  • Most of the students prefer this book.
  • We had the most fun at that party.

It's helpful to use "most" when describing a situation that isn't 100% certain or 100% true. If an amount is greater than 50% and less than 100%, the word "most" is a good choice.

  • Most of the people in this city are in favor of adding bike lanes to the streets. (65%)
  • Most of the houses in this neighborhood are over 100 years old. (58%)
  • Most scientists believe that pollution has a negative effect on the environment. (98%)

In conversational English, you'll hear people say "for the most part" and "at most." These phrases are similar to the adverb "mostly."

  • For the most part, this has been a productive meeting.
  • At most, this meeting has been productive.
  • This meeting has been mostly productive.

In the sentences above, the meanings may vary slightly. It's possible that some of the time used during the meeting was not productive or a waste of time, but a majority of the time spent was not wasted.

 

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