Sentence: "I found this book the most interesting".

According to my textbook, "the" is incorrect here and it should be only: "I found this book most interesting".

This sounds very strange to me, as with superlative degree we always use "the".


Most interesting is another way of saying very interesting.

The most interesting implies comparison with other similar things, for instance ...of the books I have read this year, or ...of the movies I have ever seen.

  • Does this rule only works for "interesting"? Next time when I attempt any question like this in spotting errors:- ...... ____ [superlative degree]. How can I know that "the" is required here or not like maybe some rule of thumb etc.? – Navdeep Singh Jan 24 at 14:01
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    When comparing one thing with some/all others, it's always the most [adjective] (one) or the largest, smallest etc. This has nothing to do with the fact that most can also mean very . – Kate Bunting Jan 24 at 14:49

If the sentence stands alone without any context then you are correct, the the is not needed. If, however, there is a section which has been omitted then the would be correct. For example

Of the whole library about quantum mechanics I found this book the most interesting.

  • Then what about this one: "This is the most fascinating movie I've ever watched" I'm not specifying any context (sci-fi/horror/action thriller etc.) but still using "the" – Navdeep Singh Jan 24 at 12:32
  • And we often use many superlative degree sentences in which we do not specify any context, but still use "the" – Navdeep Singh Jan 24 at 12:58

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