Posted by: Idioma Extra | July 27, 2011

Thursday Tidbit – Most, almost, mostly

Most, almost, and mostly 

Sometimes there is confusion between the uses of most, almost, and mostly. Here is a brief and easy explanation of their uses.


Most means “the majority of.” It can be used as a pronoun, determiner (similar to a, an ,or the) or an adverb, meaning, it can be used with a noun or an adjective. Here are some examples:

Most people think they are right. (describes people)

That is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. (describes disgusting)

I think most cars aren’t very environmentally friendly.


Almost is used when you want to mean “about to happen, but never did.” It is always used to modify verbs and goes before the verb, except with the verb “be,” with which it goes after . Here are some examples:

He almost finished the entire pizza. (but he didn’t)

He is almost six feet tall. (but he isn’t)

The bus almost hit me. (but it didn’t)


Mostly is also used with verbs, but it means “almost all; the majority.” Again it goes before the verb unless the verb is “be.” Then it goes after. Here are some examples:

The dinner mostly consists of rice and beans.

The student are mostly from the inner city.

My parent mostly spend their time in Florida.

Check yourself

Write most, almost, or mostly in the sentences below.

1. The police officer ______________ arrested the thief, but he got away.

2. ______________ people think there is an afterlife.

3. I ______________ run in the park on weekends.

4. We have to go! It is ___________ 10am!

5. The shirt is ________________ made of cotton.

6. The repairman said he is _______________ finished. Just a couple more things remain.

7. ____________ countries in the world have a McDonalds.

8. Today I exercised for _______________ an hour! But not quite.

9. We _____________ do our homework at night.

10. They ________________ passed the course, but they had too many absences.

Answers to last week’s Check Yourself

1. My hair is long (X) to make a pony tail.

2. The weather is cold (X) to freeze water.

3. There aren’t (X) people to play the game.

4. My phone isn’t loud (X) to hear the person on the other line.

5. We don’t have (X) books for all the students in the class.

6. There aren’t (X) hours in the day to get all the work done.

7. The movie wasn’t interesting (X) for me to see it again.

8. The situation was serious (X) to call the police.

9. Our teacher isn’t strict (X) to deal with difficult students.

10. The ambulance didn’t arrive in (X) time to save the victim.


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