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Which one of the following sentences is true or more common?

This is one of the most well-known methods used to solve this problem.
This is one of the well-known methods used to solve this problem.

I want to say that almost every one knows this method. Can we just remove most?

Is there a better expression to say this?

  • I think removing most would change the meaning entirely. With most in there, you are saying that there are several known methods used to solve the problem, and of those methods, this is one that is know about more than the most of the others. If you remove the most, it is just saying that it's a part of the group of well known methods, but isn't really in the top of the well known methods. – Element115 Mar 2 '18 at 20:35
  • @Element115: Thanks. :) I don't want to say this is really the top one. I just want to say it is well-known. So do you think that I should remove most. – H. R. Mar 2 '18 at 20:49
  • If that's your intended meaning, absolutely. – Element115 Mar 2 '18 at 21:05
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    I know this is late, but another option would be "This is a well-known method used to solve this problem", which means essentially the same thing as the second option you present and in my personal opinion sounds a bit more natural. – Sparksbet Jul 17 '18 at 2:07
  • @Sparksbet: Thanks for the attention Indeed, I finally changed it to what you said. :) – H. R. Jul 24 '18 at 21:05
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The superlative of "well" is "best":

  • A swims well.
  • B swims better.
  • C swims the best.

You should then say:

  • This is one of the best-known methods used to solve this problem.

Note: I reply to your comment with this graph ("best-known" expresses the same concept as "well-known" in the superlative, which is what you seem to want):

best-know vs. most well-known

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Both "most well-known" and "best-known" are completely unambiguous in writing, and mean the same thing. In speech, however, "best-known method" may be heard as "best known method", which instead means "the best of all the methods which are known". Simply for disambiguation while speaking, I would definitely use "most well-known".

In fact, while "better-known" and "best-known" are undoubtedly more common in writing than "more well-known" and "most well-known", as Gustavson's graph indicates, they're both just a little bit more formal than I would hear in everyday usage. Wiktionary lists both forms, but I'm afraid I can't find a more definitive source.

  • Can I remove most according to what I want to say? – H. R. Mar 3 '18 at 16:08
  • @H.R. The word "most" serves a good purpose here, and you should not remove it (assuming I've correctly understood what you mean). – Patrick Stevens Mar 3 '18 at 17:38
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You can also use:

This is one of the more well-known methods used...

This phrase is often found in contexts like this. An example, from a textbook:

One of the more well-known fractals is the Cantor set.

Source: Elements of Quantum Optics.

Using more instead of most gets us away from the hair-splitting angst some might have when you use "most".

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