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Which is correct, "I like you the best" or "I like you best"?

And I hear " I like you most" is incorrect, so which is correct, "I love you most" or "I love you best"? Are there any rules that which one should be used?

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Both sentences could mean the same thing, however

I like you best.
I like chocolate best, better than anything else

can be used when what one is choosing from is not specified

I like you the best.
Between chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, I like vanilla the best

can be used when choosing from some choices.

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  • Thank you for your helpful answer. Is " I like you most" incorrect? Oct 20, 2016 at 4:26
  • Strictly speaking, "I like you most" is not natural English, but I've said it a few times to my wife, for fun :)
    – Andrew
    Oct 20, 2016 at 5:01
  • How about "I love you"? Which is correct, best or most? Oct 20, 2016 at 5:26
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    Ah, the difference between semantics and romantics... "I love you more than anything in the whole (wide) world." = "I love you most (of all)." to say "I love you (the) best" though grammatically correct, may not be the best thing to say romantically (since she will be wondering what she's being compared to...)
    – Peter
    Oct 20, 2016 at 6:21
  • Thanks again. I have a question why " I like you most" is unnatural but " I love you most" is natural. Why? Oct 20, 2016 at 6:47

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