Difference between Many and Most
Key difference: ‘Many’ and ‘most’ are two terms that are used to denote quantity. However, the two terms differ in the manner that they can be used. Technically, "most" is more than "many." ‘Most’, on the other hand, is generally used to refer to something when it is ‘in the greatest degree" or "in the majority of instances.” Hence, it can be said, that ‘most’ should be used to refer to something only when it makes up more than half of its collective group, i.e. more than 50%.
‘Many’ and ‘most’ are two terms that are used to denote quantity. However, the two terms differ in the manner that they can be used. Both the terms indicate a large, indefinite amount of something. E.g. most people, many people, most things, many things, etc. Technically, "most" is more than "many."
‘Many’ refers to a great amount of things, a large amount. Dictionary.com defines ‘many’ as:
- Constituting or forming a large number; numerous: many people.
- Noting each one of a large number (usually followed by a or an): For many a day it rained.
- A large or considerable number of persons or things: A good many of the beggars were blind.
- The many, the greater part of humankind.
- Many persons or things: Many of the beggars were blind. Many were unable to attend.
‘Many’ is mainly used with countable nouns, such as person, apple, spoon, day, etc. Countable nouns and uncountable nouns just specify weather or not the thing that the sentence is referring to can be counted or not. For example: “How much salt is in the dish?” as opposed to “How many spoons to you need?” We cannot count the salt; hence the term ‘much’ is used, while we can most certainly count the number of spoons; hence ‘many’ is used.
- How many apples do you want?
- How many books have you read?
- How many brothers and sisters have you got?
- There are many empty chairs in the event.
- How many fruits are there on the table?
- Many children are impoverished in that region of the world.
- There are many challenges that lie ahead.
- There are many things that we can do with this.
- Many animals are migrating south in this time of year.
- How many people are in rehab?
- How many bottles of milk have you bought?
- How many pinches of salt are needed in this recipe?
‘Most’, on the other hand, is generally used to refer to something when it is ‘in the greatest degree" or "in the majority of instances.” Hence, it can be said, that ‘most’ should be used to refer to something only when it makes up more than half of its collective group, i.e. more than 50%. However, ‘most’ should not be used if the number of the thing referred to is unsure. For example: if 5 out of 30 people like strawberry, one cannot say that “most people like strawberry,” rather we can say that ‘a number of people like strawberry.’
Dictionary.com defines ‘most’ as:
- In the greatest quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number: to win the most votes.
- In the majority of instances: Most operations are successful.
- Greatest, as in size or extent: the most talent.
- The greatest quantity, amount, or degree; the utmost: The most I can hope for is a passing grade.
- The greatest number or the majority of a class specified: Most of his writing is rubbish.
- The greatest number: The most this room will seat is 150.
- The majority of persons: to be more sensitive than most.
- Most people like chocolate.
- Most people drink coffee in the morning.
- Most of the seats are taken.
- I got most of the question right.
- Most of my things are scattered all over the place.
- I finished most of my packing yesterday.
- Most of my family is going to be disappointed with my career choice.
- Most of the voters didn’t believe in this year’s candidates.
- Most things happen for a reason.
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