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Is It Correct to Say “Most Favorite”?

You are in the kitchen baking your grandma’s favorite cookies. You take it to her on a plate with a cup of tea, and she tells you, “You are my most favorite grandson.

It is incorrect to say “most favorite” because “favorite” already means something or someone is the best. Though it is grammatically incorrect and redundant, you may hear people add “most” to rank their favorites. For example, someone may say, “I like dogs, but cats are my most favorite.”

Let us take a closer look at “most favorite,” why it is grammatically wrong, how to use it, and a few alternative options.

What Does “Most Favorite” Mean?

When you say something is your “favorite,” it usually means you prefer it above anything else (source). However, it is not uncommon for some people to have more than one favorite thing, which is why people add words like “most” and “least” to “favorite” – to establish that one is even better than the other.

Let’s break up the words “most favorite” and look at them separately.

MostAn adverb describing the adjective “favorite.”
FavoriteAn adjective describing a noun.

Let’s take a look at the example below.

  • My favorite colors are blue, red, and yellow. However, red is my most favorite color.

The subject of each sentence is in purple, the verbs are in red, the objects are dark green, the adverb is in light blue, and the adjectives are dark blue.

How Do You Use “Most Favorite”?

There is nothing wrong with using “most favorite” in an informal environment where you want to show that you prefer one thing above the other even though you like more than one thing.

Let’s say you have five shirts that you really like. For example, you have a blue, red, green, black, and white shirt. If someone asks you which shirt is your favorite, that might be a tricky question for some of you. This is when many people like to say, for example, “I really like all of my shirts, but the green one is my favorite.” 

Most people have been in that situation where they feel like it is tough to pick one thing out of all the things they like, and that is when they want to “rank” their favorites to show people they love them all, but “this one” stands out above the rest.

  • These are my favorite shirts, but this one is my most favorite.

When Can You Use “Most Favorite”?

If you want to use the words “most favorite,” it is best to use them when you like more than one specific thing but want to show that you prefer one above the rest.

Let’s refer back to the example in the previous paragraph about shirts. We know you like all five of your shirts. However, the blue shirt is still your “most favorite,” in other words, your actual favorite, and the rest you just like!

According to grammar rules, you can only have one favorite thing as it already means you prefer one thing above everything else, so “most” is unnecessary. So instead, just say “favorite.”

Using “Most Favorite” in a Full Sentence

In a full sentence, we combine “most favorite” with things we already like and then point out which one we like above them all. However, this is technically incorrect because it is redundant – “favorite” captures your meaning just fine.

Image by Mstudio via Pexels

In informal contexts, It is best to use “most favorite” after you mention your other “favorites” or things you like. You can also use “most favorite” in all three of the basic verb tenses.

Verb TenseSentence Example
Past TenseMy favorite shoe brands were Adidas, Nike, and Puma. However, Nike shoes were my most favorite brand as they were the most comfortable.
Present TenseI love all three of my watches, but the black one is my most favorite as I can wear it with almost anything in my wardrobe.
Future TenseThere are so many beautiful cars I like. However, when the new Ferrari comes out, that will be my most favorite car.

When Not to Use “Most Favorite”

You should avoid using “most favorite” in a formal setting as it shows you prefer one thing above all of the rest. Since “favorite” already means you favor something above all the others, adding “most” is redundant (source). As such, you should never say it in semiformal or formal contexts.

If your employer asks you what part of the job you like the most. You should not respond with, “All of them are my favorite, but working with a team of people is my most favorite.” 

You do not want to respond like this because it makes you seem either unrealistically attached to things or indecisive. Since making choices is necessary for the workplace, you should avoid giving the impression that you struggle to make decisions.

Instead, respond by saying something like this, “My favorite part of the job is working with a team.” This response shows you can make a decision among the many things you like.

What Can You Use Instead of “Most Favorite”?

Now that you better understand when to use “most favorite,” let’s look at a few other words we can use instead. Some of the most common alternatives for “most favorite” include “preferred,” “of choice,” and “favorite.”

Since “most” is unnecessary, we’ll look at alternative options for “favorite.”

Alternative OptionMeaning
Preferred“Preferred” means you will pick something because you like it more than anything else.
Of Choice“Of choice” is a great alternative to express your favorite or top option.
Favorite“Favorite” means it is your first choice, and you will pick it no matter what.
Desired“Desired” usually describes what you like or want. It is another word we use when we like something more than the rest.
Top Pick“Top pick” is a great option as it means you will pick something above the rest (it is your first choice).

Let’s take a look at how we can use the above alternative options in sentences.

Alternative OptionExample Sentence
PreferredBlack shoes are preferred for going out at night.
Of ChoiceA Ferrari is my car of choice; it is beautiful and swift.
FavoriteThis blue shirt is my favorite, though I like all of my shirts too.
DesiredOxford is my desired university because there is no other like it.
Top PickHam, cheese, and tomato is always my top sandwich pick.

Now you should understand that these alternative options mean the same thing, and you can use them properly instead of “most favorite.”

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

The positive form of an adjective is where comparative and superlative adjectives come from. Typically, comparative adjectives use “more” or “less” and end in “-er,” whereas superlative adjectives use the terms “most” and “least” and finish in “-est.”

For instance, the adjectives “smaller” and “smallest” are comparative and superlative, respectively. Another example is the difference between the adjectives “more determined” and “most determined.”

So where do “most favorite” and “favorite” fit in? Let’s get into it.

Comparative Adjectives

We use comparative adjectives when we compare the differences between two objects they describe.

An example of a comparative adjective would be “You are more beautiful than her.” In this example, someone compares the girl (the object in the sentence) to another girl, making it comparative.

“Most favorite” is not a comparative adjective, as you state that something is the best out of many, regardless of how many there are.

Superlative Adjectives

We use superlative adjectives when describing an object’s upper and lower limits. Likewise, we use a superlative adjective when we compare more than two objects. The adjective becomes superlative as soon as the word “most” joins (source).

Another example of a superlative adjective would be, “You are the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.” As you can see, there is no specific comparison between the two objects. Instead, the speaker compares the girl to everyone, which makes it superlative.

“Most favorite” is indeed a superlative adjective because you are saying it is better than the rest. For example, “You are my most favorite person in the entire world” means someone is comparing you with the rest of the world (a large group).

However, as explained above, “most favorite” is inherently redundant because “favorite” is already a superlative adjective describing something as preferred over anything else in the context.

Like other superlative adjectives, one may describe a noun as their favorite in any group they describe. Here are some familiar choices:

  • The whole world
  • Of everyone here
  • Of these
  • Of those
  • Everyone I know
  • Of all places I’ve visited
  • Of all the Thai food I’ve eaten

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For more on expressions of gratitude as interjections, read this article: Is It Correct to Say “Thanks for Letting Me Know”?

Final Thoughts

“Most favorite” is not grammatically correct, and you should refrain from using it. Instead, use alternative options like “preferred,” “of choice,” or even just “favorite.” However, if you decide to use “most favorite,” do so in an informal environment, not a work setting.