1

We can use "almost" not "all most" in this sentence.

When I tried to get a train ticket, ( ) the seats were already taken.

"all most" is grammatical? and if not, why isn't it grammatical?

  • "all most" is not correct at all, "all of most" you mean? – Lê Gia Lễ Dec 19 '17 at 1:29
4

"All" and "most" are two different words that can be used individually to represent quantity/extent, they cannot be combined.

"Almost" is a different word that is used as a modifier to "all", to indicate that its not affecting 100% but a large majority.

So, you could say:

When I tried to get a train ticket, all the seats were already taken.

i.e. There were no seats available at all.

When I tried to get a train ticket, most of the seats were already taken.

i.e. There were just a few seats available.

When I tried to get a train ticket, almost all the seats were already taken.

i.e. Similar as above, there were a few seats available.

In general use, it would be the following order that tends to be used:

  1. All (indicating 100%)
  2. Almost all (not quite 100% but nearly there)
  3. Most (a large majority)
  4. Many (a majority, though closer to 50%)
  5. Some
  6. Few (a few steps above 0%)
  7. Almost none
  8. None (indicating 0%)
  • 1
    A very clear and nicely organized answer. I will use it with a student I am volunteering with. – user242899 Dec 19 '17 at 2:13
  • 1
    thank you for your answer! very easy to understand them! – 02l4 Dec 19 '17 at 5:01
  • 1
    It's not quite true that "all" and "most" can't be combined - though they can't be combined in that order. In colloquial AmE, "most all" is another way of saying "almost all". (Halfway down the page at merriam-webster.com/dictionary/most , there's a definition of "most" as meaning "almost".) This isn't possible in British English, of course. Btw, I wouldn't necessarily agree that "many" means a majority (it may mean a substantial number but less than half) or that "most" means a large majority (often it does, but it sometimes means a simple majority). – rjpond Dec 19 '17 at 19:26

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