I want the crate that contains the highest number of apples.
I want the crate that contains the most apples.
Is sentence 2 correct and with the same meaning as 1? If not, is there another shorter way to say the same thing?
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These sentences all mean the same. Occasionally, "contains most apples" means that most of the apples are in that crate, but usually it will be interpreted as meaning the same as the other three sentences, especially where the context doesn't allow for the "majority of apples" interpretation.
We could also say:
However, to be polite, it is often better to say: