I found this book the most interesting.
According to a book, the should be removed. Why?
Shall I have to mention that of all the books that I've read so far, this one was the most interesting? (or even here "the" has been wrongly placed before "most")
what about the use of "the" before most in this sentence.
He is the most intelligent student of this class. (Correct I think)

  • Including the article in I found this book the most interesting is only valid when it's contextually obvious that there are other books which you didn't find as interesting as the one you've singled out. If you don't include the article, most is precisely equivalent to very - in which case it implies nothing about any other books that might exist, and/or which you might have read. You could say I found this X most interesting even if you don't know anything about any other X's (but in that context you couldn't include the). – FumbleFingers Mar 26 '18 at 18:26

Removing the definite article changes the meaning.

To say a book is most interesting is like saying it is very interesting.

To say a book is the most interesting would require something to compare it to. E.g., you could say that of Moby Dick, Ulysses, and Ham On Rye, Ulysses is the most interesting. You're saying that something is more interesting than everything else you're comparing it to.

The example with the student is similar. The most intelligent student is the student who is more intelligent than the others. A student who is most intelligent is one who is quite intelligent, more so than the average.

It's a strange quirk of the language. In these kinds of phrases, without the definite article most is used hyperbolically.


You have to have "the" if your intention is to use the superlative form of "interesting".

The two basic paradigms for the neutral, comparative, and superlative forms of an adjective or adverb are:

His coffee is hot, but your coffee is hotter, and my coffee is the hottest.

His book is important, but your book is more important, and my coffee is the most important.

See https://www.ef.edu/english-resources/english-grammar/comparative-and-superlative/.

This is separate from the use of "most" as a plain adjective meaning "very" or "extremely".

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