# Thread: use of the word "most"...

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. ## 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...".

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

I would say 50% plus one.

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

Originally Posted by VixSix
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".

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."

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