Most of is used to say quantity of a thing in general, and Most of the is used to say quantity of a specific thing. I think in the world is a specific thing which makes me think that Most countries in the world is right, but I'm not sure.

So what is the right answer?

  • The answers in the older question are rather underwhelming, however. – choster Sep 16 '16 at 16:15
  • The difference is not one of right or wrong, but of necessary content versus padding. For example, you could reduce your wording to "Most countries [do X]" (as The Mauve Kartoffel observes in an answer below) or you lard it up even moreā€”for example, "Most of the countries that exist in the world as we know it today [do X]." Both options are grammatical, so to focus on the question of which is right and which is wrong is to misdirect your attention. – Sven Yargs Sep 16 '16 at 17:00

I think that both versions work, because 'in the world' could be considered as a specific thing and a general thing at the same time. If you speak about 'the world', you speak about this one specific thing - the world. However, 'the world' contains everything that is in it. In that case it is a general thing. An example for a specific thing in that case could be a country - as a part of something bigger and more general (the world).

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