How Do You Spell Almost? — a Quick Spelling Guide

English spellings can be tricky with all the rules and exceptions for native and non-native speakers. But when we misspell common words, it casts a negative impression on the reader. For example, how do you spell almost? Should it be almost or all most?

The confusion about whether or not to drop the l often leads to spelling errors. This article will help you spell the word correctly and learn its use through example sentences.

All Most Vs. Almost — What Is the Difference?

‘All’ and ‘most’ are two separate and valid words in the dictionary, each with a different meaning. They can describe quantity or extent but cannot be combined.

  • All of you should be present at the meeting.
  • Most of you couldn’t answer the last question on the test.

‘Almost’ is a different term altogether, which serves as a modifier to ‘all.’ This word denotes that it is not affecting 100% but a significant portion of something.

  • I visit my grandparents almost every Sunday.
  • Our science fair project was almost done.

What Does Almost Mean?

Based on the dictionary definition, ‘Almost‘ means very nearly but not exactly or entirely. ‘Almost’ functions as an adverb and is used to modify a verb.

‘Almost’ describes things that are on the verge of happening or situations that have yet to be attained. This word originated from the Old English eallmæst, meaning “nearly all” or “mostly all.”

Example Sentences:

  • It’s almost time for me to leave.
  • I almost completed the task.
  • John is almost as tall as Jack.
  • He was almost hit by a bike yesterday.
  • My old polished shoes look almost new.

How Do You Spell Almost?

‘Almost’ is a 6-lettered word, spelled as A-L-M-O-S-T, with 2 vowels and 4 consonants. This 2 syllable word, al-most, has a stress on the first syllable. Based on the English dictionary, the phonetic description of ‘almost’ is /ˈɔːlməʊst/. However, the pronunciation of the stressed syllable slightly varies in the UK and US. The American pronounce the word as [aal·mowst] with an open ‘a’ sound, while the British prefer it as [awl·mowst] with a closed ‘o’ sound.

Correctly spelling the word ‘almost’ is easy when you break it down into its base word and prefix or individual syllables.

Al (prefix) + most (base word) = Almost

Al- is a common prefix in the English language that means ‘all,’ but it retains only one ‘l’ when added to a base word.

person holding on red pen while writing on book
Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

Uses of Almost in Sentences

‘Almost’ can be used to mean “nearly, not entirely, not quite,” and it serves as an adverb in the parts of speech. There are different ways ‘almost’ is used in sentences.

1. When modifying a verb, ‘almost’ usually appears before the verb.

  • I have almost completed my homework for today.
  • She almost slept in the class.

2. If it is a ‘to be’ verb, ‘almost’ comes after the verb.

  • He is almost always late to work.
  • They were almost frozen to death.

3. When modifying an adjective, ‘almost’ comes before the adjective.

  • They are almost ready for the event.
  • I am almost sure he will get the highest score.

4. Almost comes before expressions like nothing, every, all.

  • I go to the orphanage almost every Sunday.
  • Almost all preparation for the party is completed.

5. Almost also comes before expressions of time and quantity.

  • I was in Canada almost one year back.
  • When he returned, it was almost 8 p.m.

Wrapping Up

How do you spell almost? Remember that ‘almost’ is one word spelled with a single l. The pronunciation of the word may not always yield the right spelling. To spell ‘almost’ correctly, break the word down into its prefix al- and the base word most. This article is a quick guide to help you spell and use the word correctly in the appropriate context.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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