Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Dec 2013
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    use of the word "most"...

    Howdy, just wondering about the use of the word 'most'. I get that if there is a question such as "who has the most apples?" the answer would be the person who has the highest number of apples... however, what about a statement such as "most dogs like chicken" - does most in this situation refer to a range of numbers? (eg, more than 80%) and if so, what is the 'magic' number? Many thanks, Vix

  2. Grumpy's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 972
    #2

    Re: use of the word "most"...

    In my opinion, "most dogs like chicken" means that somewhere between 51% and 99% of dogs like chicken. It cannot be 50% or fewer (obviously), and it cannot be 100%, because then it would be "all dogs...".
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  3. riquecohen's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 6,002
    #3

    Re: use of the word "most"...

    I would say 50% plus one.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #4

    Re: use of the word "most"...

    Quote Originally Posted by VixSix View Post
    Howdy, just wondering about the use of the word 'most'. I get that if there is a question such as "who has the most apples?" the answer would be the person who has the highest number of apples... however, what about a statement such as "most dogs like chicken" - does most in this situation refer to a range of numbers? (eg, more than 80%) and if so, what is the 'magic' number? Many thanks, Vix
    Yes it does. The magic number is 50%, because 'most' means "the majority". Here "most dogs" means that more dogs like chicken than don't like chicken. If 51% of dogs didn't like chicken, then technically, most dogs don't like chicken. You can then still say, "Many dogs like chicken." But there is no specific magical number for "many".

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,307
    #5

    Re: use of the word "most"...

    With higher percentages, "most" is still true, but you would tend to hear things like "nearly all" or "the vast majority."

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 17-Sep-2012, 04:23
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-Jun-2012, 13:27
  3. Replies: 19
    Last Post: 16-Apr-2011, 11:30
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-Feb-2009, 15:40
  5. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 14-Apr-2008, 23:58

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •