Difference Between Must and Most (With Table)

Many words in English are often encountered. From prepositions to conjunctions, there’s a lot to learn. It’s common to be perplexed by words that are identical or sound the same. To make your speech meaningful and precise, you must distinguish.

 Some terms can be used interchangeably because they are slightly different, and the distinction can be determined by experts, but when people hear them regularly, they sound identical. Auxiliary verbs, also known as supporting verbs, are used in conjunction with the main verb to convey the mood, tense, and voice of the main verb.

Must vs Most

The difference between must and most is that must is a word that confirms certainty whereas most is a word that quantifies something. While must is used in situations or cases of urgency or certainty, most are used in case of comparisons or case of quantification of something. Both of them are used in addition to a predicate or a verb.

Must is used to ensure something or to say something which is about to happen, or something sure to happen. The speaker here is sure that the subject would have followed the predicate. For example, The sun has been up for a while, it must be hot outside. The boys must have finished their homework by dinner time.

Most can be used to describe a large amount or to show the majority in something. For example, Most people like flowers. Most of the school children are finding it difficult to study on computer screens. At this hour, most of the customers make their reservations. Most of the earth’s surface is covered with water bodies.

Comparison Table Between Must And Most

Parameters of ComparisonMustMost
MeaningSomething that’s bound to happen; certaintyA greater or larger amount, or very huge quantity
SynonymsNecessary, requisite, commitment, requirement, right, a preconditionBetter, greater, higher, larger, uttermost, maximum, highly, immensely
AntonymsNonessential, non-necessityLeast, little, negligible, somewhat, slightly
RepresentsObligationsQuantifications
Used asVerb, nounDeterminer, adverb, pronoun, noun

What is Must?

Must is something that is necessary or mandatory and is bound to happen. Must is used to say something that one needs to do or something very important. For example, You must fill out all of the college application forms for the economics department.

Must is used to address urgency or something very important and may result in negative consequences if not done as required. You must report to the examination hall before 9 am or else you won’t be allowed to take the exam. “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do (Bible, Acts 9:6)”.

Must is used to describe an event that is very likely to happen or has a high chance of happening. For example, The chefs must have prepared the dinner by now. It is also used to describe something that is mandatory or is required to happen. For example, I am going hiking so first aid is a must to keep.

What is Most?

Most is a verb used to describe a large amount or quantity or represents the majority concerning a population. It has a quantitative nature and describes things quantitatively. For example, Most of the fruits at the market are fresh today.

Most can be used in comparisons of a larger number. The team to collect most of the flags wins the game. Most can also be used in the case to show the majority or to represent more than half. For example, Most dairy products are frozen and are sold in a chilled state.

Most can also be used as a superlative form of many of the adjectives. For example, Calibration is the most important while using any instrument in the lab. Most can also be used to represent a greater part as in the case of a large group of people. For example, Most people are using the postpaid communication system. Most has been used to describe a record-setting amount. Asha Bhosle holds the Guinness world record for the most recorded artist in music history in 2011.

Main Differences Between Must and Most

  1. The main difference between must and most is the first is used in a situation or cases of certainty or when something is about to happen while the latter is used in cases of comparison to show an amount as in quantifying something.
  2. Must is used in cases to show necessity or when one is obligated to do something while most can be used to represent a bigger or larger portion of people or things.
  3. Must is used in expressing formal speech. Most can also be used for representing facts, data, or any statements. It can be used both formally and informally depending on the demand of the situation.
  4. Must represent the importance of anything or any important work or any law or rule to be followed. Most represent a wider range or wider portion of a group.
  5. Must is used to express any kind or obligation, to show prohibition, or to express strong opinions and actions to be taken. Most can be used in cases of comparisons or when telling about majority cases.

Conclusion

The English language is widely used around the world. It is easy to understand, but it contains a large number of terms that can be confusing to newcomers. Words can be interchanged, but this can alter the meaning of sentences. As a result, we must learn the correct context and application of perplexing terms.

Must and most are similar sounding words with a change of a single vowel but they have completely different meanings. Must is used to express strong action or certain events which are bound to happen. Most can be used to express the majority or bigger portion while expressing our thoughts, facts, or events. While one is bound to formal speech the latter isn’t bound and can be used in both formal and informal speech.

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00353453
  2. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=aEXUDAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT9&ots=HpkwXCTfN4&sig=wHo6KbbmL-sUtSXSiNagpPdIt70&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
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