"Most of People" (Common Mistake) - Podcast Episode 21

Welcome to Episode 21 of The English Sessions. “Most of people” (common mistakes). I am your host and English teacher, Mike Butler. These podcasts can help you improve your English! Together, we will talk about grammar… pronunciation… structure... and have some fun too. Remember to visit my website, www.englishsessionswithmike.com to contact me for private lessons, and for more content.

You can also read the transcript of this audio on the website, as you listen to this episode.

Listen for these words today:
Deck - a platform, typically uncovered and made of wood, that is attached to a house. I have a deck, and I love to sit on my deck and watch the sun set over the mountains.

 Today’s episode is about something very specific. Why do some learners say “Most of people”. For example, “Most of people think that pizza is delicious”. I am here to say, to you, that this is not the common way to phrase this. A native English speaker will probably not say this.

I want to say first, that it is not a big deal if you say that. Most likely, a native speaker is going to understand. It’s not the end of the world. But, if you want to learn the common ways to phrase this, and understand why, then let’s continue.

Let’s look at similar phrasing, that native English speakers do say.

MOST PEOPLE: “Most people think that pizza is delicious”. This is correct. This is what a native speaker would say. Use this when you are talking about almost everyone, no matter where you are, in the world. Most people wear clothes. Most people live in cities. Most likely, this is what my students want to say.

MOST OF THE PEOPLE: “Most of the people” is also correct, but it is about a more specific group of people. For example. I’m having a party. A few people are in the kitchen, but most of the people are outside on the deck. I am talking about the specific group of people that are at my party.

A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE: “A majority of people” is also common phrasing. This sounds a bit more formal, but it is common. Perhaps you will see this in a news headline. For example, here is a headline from a news source this month: "A majority of people polled across Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, and Portugal have lost trust in the US because of its disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic” https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/a-majority-of-people-polled-across-germany-france-spain-denmark-and-portugal-have-lost-trust-in-the-us-because-of-its-disastrous-handling-of-the-coronavirus-pandemic/ar-BB16bXg4

Okay, so remember, if you want to sound more like a native English speaker, do NOT say the phrasing that is the title of this episode. Instead, say “most people”, “most of the people”, or, alternatively, you can say “a majority of people”.

One more time, I am going to create a little story using the common phrasing.

STORY: “There are many countries in the world. Most people live on land, but not everyone. Some people live at sea, that means that they live in a boat, over water. I assume that most of the people who live at sea are not terrified of large bodies of water like I am. Many people love visiting the beach, and many people love going into the ocean for a short time, but I imagine a majority of people would prefer to live in a house, safely on land, instead of on a boat, out at sea. Some people live in a house boat, which is often on the water, but very close to land. “

That’s all for today. For more advanced learners, I have a little bit more to say to all of you, after the break.


I have a challenge for you. Go to a search engine, like Google, and put the words “most of people” in quotation marks. It’s important that you put the words between quotation marks, so the search engine will look for those specific words in that specific order. What comes up? Most likely you will see forum posts from learners of the language. However, language is always changing, and I invite you to challenge me. Perhaps you don’t agree with my assessment of these different ways of phrasing. Let’s talk about it. In fact, I do this trick, putting a specific phrase, in quotation marks in a search engine, all the time with my students. It’s a great way to see if you’re using the same phrase that other folks are using on the internet. I also do this when I’m practicing my Spanish.

Here’s another challenge, do you sometimes find yourself saying, “most of people”? Tell me why! Let’s talk about what is happening here in translation. Write in to the podcast, or leave a message for me on the website.

“Most of people”

Any questions? Write to me at mike@englishsessionswithmike.com . Leave a message for me on the website, www.englishsessionswithmike.com and I will play it on the podcast. Make sure to subscribe to this podcast so you won’t miss an episode. Visit www.englishsessionswithmike.com for more content. Please rate and review The English Sessions on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Find us on social media. Twitter @theEsessions; Instagram @englishsessionswithmike; Search for The English Sessions on Facebook. Until next time, this is Mike signing off. 


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