We had in out matriculation exam the sentence I have written below. How can I know which one fits best to the empty line?

"It is, however, fair to say that ____ New Yorkers were more than a little surprised when they discovered that a two year-old Bengal tiger was living among them in an apartment block in Harlem."

a) most
b) the most
c) most of
d) the most of

Thank you for reading my question.
Please tell us which word/s you think is the answer.
The right answer is A (most) according to the answer sheet, but the problem is that I don't know why.
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Which words would you use to fill in the blank since you disagree with the answer?
There is no comparison. most ~ almost all (or at least more than half) most people, most children, most cars, most houses.

This is nothing like 'the most beautiful one', 'the most expensive one', etc., or 'has the most money', 'has the most talent', etc.

CJ
'Most' means 'a lot of ' here.
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I know I'm late but I'll just add a little to CJ's good reply. As he has said, most means 'more than half', but so does most of. How does one know when to use the of? Easy. Most of is used when there is an article, a pronoun or something similar before the noun. (I use the term 'pronoun' here as it is used in Scandinavian grammar because I know that you are Scandinavian.) Examples:

Most of the movies I saw were boring.
He likes most of my friends.
Most of those cats like milk.

The most is a superlative: He has *the most friends. (He has more friends than anyone else.)
The most of is usually used as an idiom: I'll try to make the most of my short holiday. (I'll try to enjoy my short holiday as much as I possibly can.)

*the most is 'eniten' in Finnish if you understand that language.

CB

I think most is the answer

Fatima 1378

I think most is the answer

Thank you, Fatima, but did you read the teachers' answers? Also, the question was asked and answered eight years ago, so the person who posted the question is long gone.

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