majority or most

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kakun95

New Member
spanish-euskera
Hello everybody:
I'd like to know if anybody could help me with the use of majority or most. I haven't got very clear which is the difference between them, apart from the fact that one is a noun and the other adj, adv, etc. But I don't know when to use them.
Please, you always solve my doubts. Help me with this one too!
Thank you so much
 
  • flyingcabbage

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    Vale, en ciertos contextos son sinónimos.

    The majority of people believed... (La mayoría de la gente creyó que...)
    Most people believed...

    "Most people..." es lo que se usa más en la conversación (a mi moda de ver) pero "The majority..." también tiene sentido.

    También, pienso que con nombres no numerables, se dice "most of...". (Eg. Comió la mayor parte de la tarta. He ate most of the cake. y Pasé la mayor parte del tiempo en la playa. I spent most of the time at the beach.)

    En el contexto de elecciones, siempre se dice "majority": "He won the election with a large majority"/ "The majority voted for him".

    Y con superlativos, siempre utiliza "most" - She was the most annoyed of all. (Ella fue la que estaba más enfadada de todos)
     

    tgfg26

    Member
    English-USA
    flyingcabbage gave some great examples. In the USA, "majority" and "most" are both used in conversation. "Majority" sounds more formal and possibly more precise, but it can be used informally in order to emphasize a point. For example: Saying "He ate the majority of the cake" may sound like the speaker wants to emphasize their surprise/disgust/dislike of the fact that he ate so much cake. A lot of the meaning is taken, however, from spoken inflection.
     

    kakun95

    New Member
    spanish-euskera
    flyingcabbage gave some great examples. In the USA, "majority" and "most" are both used in conversation. "Majority" sounds more formal and possibly more precise, but it can be used informally in order to emphasize a point. For example: Saying "He ate the majority of the cake" may sound like the speaker wants to emphasize their surprise/disgust/dislike of the fact that he ate so much cake. A lot of the meaning is taken, however, from spoken inflection.
    Thank you tgfg26 for your help. It's been good value for me.
     

    Arai

    Senior Member
    Spain - Spanish
    flyingcabbage gave some great examples. In the USA, "majority" and "most" are both used in conversation. "Majority" sounds more formal and possibly more precise, but it can be used informally in order to emphasize a point. For example: Saying "He ate the majority of the cake" may sound like the speaker wants to emphasize their surprise/disgust/dislike of the fact that he ate so much cake. A lot of the meaning is taken, however, from spoken inflection.
    I have another question:

    Would you say 'the majority of us think that shopping online...' or 'most of us think that shopping online...'? Which one sounds better?

    Thanks.
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hullo, Arai.

    As often happens in English, there are two — if not three — ways of referring to concepts: one from each language which helped build the English vocabilary (Norman French, Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, etc.). It also happens that the word of French origin (usually the longer of the group) is a sort of "Sunday best", while the Anglo-Saxon word is usually shorter, more "democratic" and more common in everyday conversation.

    Best.
    GS.
     

    Arai

    Senior Member
    Spain - Spanish
    Hullo, Arai.

    As often happens in English, there are two — if not three — ways of referring to concepts: one from each language which helped build the English vocabilary (Norman French, Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, etc.). It also happens that the word of French origin (usually the longer of the group) is a sort of "Sunday best", while the Anglo-Saxon word is usually shorter, more "democratic" and more common in everyday conversation.

    Best.
    GS.
    Thanks for your answer.
     

    flyingcabbage

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    I have another question:

    Would you say 'the majority of us think that shopping online...' or 'most of us think that shopping online...'? Which one sounds better?

    Thanks.
    I think "Most of us think..." sounds more natural (less formal) in speech, but neither are wrong!
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Aparentemente, algunas personas consideran que "most of" y "the majority of" son intercambiables al 100%, yo no.

    Delante de los sustantivos contables, al plural, podría emplear "most of" (Most of the apples are rotten :tick:) o "the majority of" (The majority of the apples are rotten :tick:), pero prefiero la primera.

    Delante de los sustantivos contables, al singular, sólo empleo "most of": Most of the apple is rotten. :tick: The majority of the apple is rotten. :cross:

    Delante de los sustantivos incontables, sólo empleo "most of": Most of the information is out-of-date. :tick: The majority of the information is out-of-date. :cross:

    Delante de un "collective noun", podría emplear "most of" o "the majority of": Most of the population are bilingual. :tick: The majority of the population are bilingual :tick: (porque "the population" consta de una pluralidad de personas).

    Es decir que sólo empleo "the majority of" en aquellos casos en los que se puede contar las unidades que componen la mayoría.
     
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