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The following has been puzzling me for over 10 years:

This is what I like most. vs This is what I like the most.

I like basketball but I like football (the) most.

Which is correct, please? With or without the article?

Another question: Which is more frequent, I like it (the) most OR I like it (the) best?

Thank you in advance.
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Hi Pastsimple,

I will try my best to answer your questions the way I know how.

Of the all the sports, I like American football the most – In this context, you are making a a selection among many choice.

One thing I like most about John is his honesty In this context, you are particularly stating what you like.

Does it make sense?

I think "the most" is more common.

Always have two cents to spare- Gm
Thanks, Goodman.

What about:

Of all John's character traits, his honesty is what I like the most.
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GoodmanHi Pastsimple,

I will try my best to answer your questions the way I know how.

Of the all the sports, I like American football the most – In this context, you are making a a selection among many choice.

One thing I like most about John is his honesty In this context, you are particularly stating what you like.

Does it make sense?

I think "the most" is more common.

Always have two cents to spare- Gm

Based on that, how would you explain he use here?

But if you do cater to a diverse market, then the trick is to find out who buys from you the most or the most often.
Milky, we're talking about most/the most modifying the verb like. Even with my experience with native speakers, I can't figure out a consistent pattern as to when to use "to like sth. most" and "like sth. the most". Could you please present your opinion on this topic as well?
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Hi,

I was reading a post before and as far as I can recall, it said that if it (the underlined) is used as a subjective you can not skip the use of "the", "which" or the likes of them. IS THAT TRUE?

One thing (that) I like most about John is his honesty.
With THE is formal in written English,without THE is informal,natural in written English!
(The) most is more common!
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