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When is it wrong to omit "the" before "most"? I know that in the sentences 1 and 2 it's optional but in 3 and 4 it's wrong to omit it. If it's true that "the" isn't optional when there is an adjective but it's not optional when there is an adverb, then in all my sentences there are adverbs however in some of them "the" is optional.

1."What kind of whether do you like the most?"

2."I like the weather in winter the most."

3."I like snow the most.

4."I most like snow."

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    You have a tiny typo in sentence 1! “Whether” should be “weather” :) Feb 11, 2022 at 8:25

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If you omitted “the” from sentence 3, thus forming “I like snow most,” it would seem rather unclear to me what you’re comparing that to. In both sentences 1 and 2, what is being asked about is quite specific (i.e. “kind of weather” or “weather in winter”), and so even without “the most,” it’s understood that “most” applies to that specific niche of conditions in question.

However, when talking about a broader topic like “snow,” there’s a lot of niches that could fall into. Do you like snow most as compared to other types of precipitation? Compared to types of winter weather? Compared to other shades of white, maybe? Adding “the” in front of “most” gives it an air of finality and emphasis; that is, no matter what kind of category it applies to, the focus is on how much you like snow. At least, this is my understanding of the idiomatic difference.

In the fourth sentence, it seems appropriate to me to omit “the,” as “I the most like snow” is grammatically incorrect. In fact, that sentence’s word order is rarely used in English anyway.

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