“The most something” vs. “most something”


It might be Procter & Gamble that makes the most washing powders.

Do we need “the” here?

It seems to me that the sentence means the number of washing powder trademarks offered by Procter & Gamble – not superior properties of these washing powders, and therefore “the” is redundant here.

Source: “Objective IELTS Advanced” ("Grammar folder" - So the sentence comes without context.)


Posted 2019-09-02T11:22:30.400

Reputation: 1 383

What is that particular lesson covering, where the sentence is found? – J.R. – 2019-09-02T12:46:27.077

@J.R. It looks to be page 139 here reviewing Cleft Sentences (page 23).

– whiskeychief – 2019-09-02T13:03:53.533


Possible duplicate of most/most of/ the most of

– Bee – 2019-09-02T13:48:00.760



“The most” means a plurality, and “most” means the majority

In your example,

  • “the most washing powders”

Means nobody else makes more washing powders — they are the #1-ranked company.

For every 100 packages that are sold, they sell the highest number.

  • “most washing powders”

.. means they make the majority of all of them. Nobody else makes a lot.

For every 100 packages that are sold, they sell at least 51 of them.

The dictionary says:

Most is used to form the superlative of many adjectives and adverbs:

  • Joanne is the most intelligent person I know.

Most also means almost all:


Posted 2019-09-02T11:22:30.400

Reputation: 3 768