• "for the most part" yields 67.400.000
  • "to the most part" yields 70.500.000

results on Google. Are these two phrases interchangeable? If not, when would you use which?

  • I'm not a native speaker, but "for the most part" sound very common, maybe more like everyday language than "to the most part".
    – miku
    Oct 8, 2021 at 20:38
  • Farlex has the first, but not the second, which I would never use. Oct 8, 2021 at 21:47
  • 1
    1) When Googling, if you actually enclose the phrase in quote marks, you prioritize exact matches for the full phrase. Trying that, I get 3.21 million results for "for the most part" and 3.04 million results for "to the most part." I wonder whether you've been using the quote marks? 2) Have you examined the results of the "to the most part" query? When I remove the quote marks, the primary entry is a definition for the idiom "for the most part." With the quote marks, we get results like "Which one are you looking forward to the most? Part 1..." Oct 8, 2021 at 22:05
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    3) Number of results returned by a Google survey might be useful as a very quick back-of-the-envelope exercise, but this Ngram would seem to put the matter to rest. Oct 8, 2021 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


It might change across nationalities but "for the most part" is definitely more common here in Australia to the point where "to the most part" sounds a bit strange, almost wrong. The two phrases are generally not used very commonly and, even in academic contexts, I would recommend "generally/in general" instead.

I.e Instead of "for the most part, viruses are smaller than bacteria" use "In general, viruses are smaller than bacteria" or "Viruses are generally smaller than bacteria"

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