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Tell me please if there is any difference between the following sentences.

I like fried fish the best.

I like fried fish the most.

By the way, what if I omit the definite article, will the meaning change.

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  • I like fried fish the best.
  • I like fried fish the most.
  • I like fried fish best.
  • I like fried fish most.

All of these are acceptable and natural, although the last would be in informal speech, or with previous clarifying context.

I like fish, meatloaf, and pasta, but I like fried fish most.

All carry much the same meaning. All imply a comparison with some unstated list of alternative choices, possibly all imaginable foods. Context may suggest a more limited list.

The forms without the article are more clearly comparisons to an elided or previously stated set of alternatives.

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