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Most or Almost?

The words "most" and "almost" cause some confusion. This page shows the most important differences between them. Note that we do not show all meanings of these words.



As an adjective, most means the "majority", the "largest part", "nearly all of". For example:

  • Most cars have four doors.
  • Most people would like to be rich.
  • I have been to most countries in Europe, but not all.

We also use most as a pronoun, with a similar meaning:

  • Most of my friends can speak English.
  • I spent most of the $100 you gave me. I've got about $15 left.
  • Some people like to make trouble, but most just want a quiet life.

Don't confuse this meaning of most with the superlative, when we use most with adjectives and adverbs of more the one syllable:

  • big, bigger, the biggest
  • important, more important, the most important


The word almost is an adverb. Its meaning is similar to "nearly".

  • I almost failed the exam. (but I didn't fail)
  • He almost died. (but he didn't die)
  • She's almost twenty years old. (she'll be 20 next month)
  • He's almost two metres tall. (he's 1m 97cm)
  • He was almost dead. (but the doctors managed to save him)
  • The hotel was almost empty. (there were only 5 guests)
  • The house is built almost entirely of wood. (but there is a small amount of brick)
  • It's almost time to go home. (in 10 minutes)
  • Pigs can eat almost anything. (but not everything)
  • I know almost everyone here. (but not the three people over there)
  • Almost everything was destroyed in the tsunami. (but a few buildings still stand)

almost all

People sometimes get confused with "almost all", but it's really very simple. It simply means:
almost + all

Look at the example above: I know almost everyone here.

That is the same as saying: I know almost all the people here. (nearly all the people)

I know almost everyone here.
all the people
  Almost everything was destroyed.
all of the town

Check your understanding with the Most or Almost Quiz

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