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I encountered this question in a standardized test:

As we neared the summit, the whole group of hikers—thinly spread across the mountain for most of the route—condensed, forming an illuminated line along the trail.

Now, the question asks us if the sentence is improved if we replace the italicized word with the phrase: the most part.

I have two questions here:

  1. Are both statements (before and after replacement) grammatically correct? I know this is not a reliable way to check grammatical accuracy, but upon googling both phrases I found lots of pages (with otherwise impeccable English) containing each version.

  2. Which of the two statements is preferable (even if both are grammatically correct)? Is there any specific reason for this?

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For the most part wouldn't normally be used in the example. 'For the most part' means generally, normally, or mostly.

So, most of the route is both more correct and preferable.

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