/ ˈɔːlməʊst; NAmE -moʊst/ adverb
SYN nearly :
I like almost all of them.
It's a mistake they almost always make.
The story is almost certainly false.
It's almost time to go.
Dinner's almost ready.
He slipped and almost fell.
Their house is almost opposite ours.
They'll eat almost anything.
Almost no one (= hardly anyone) believed him.
almost / nearly / practically
These three words have similar meanings and are used frequently with the following words:
| almost ~ | nearly ~ | practically \~ |
| certainly | (numbers) | all |
| all | all | every |
| every | always | no |
| entirely | every | nothing |
| impossible | finished | impossible |
| empty | died | anything |
They are used in positive sentences:
She almost / nearly / practically missed her train.
They can be used before words like all , every and everybody :
Nearly all the students have bikes.
I've got practically every CD they've made.
Practically is used more in spoken than in written English. Nearly is the most common with numbers:
There were nearly 200 people at the meeting.
They can also be used in negative sentences but it is more common to make a positive sentence with only just :
We only just got there in time.
We almost / nearly didn't get there in time.
Almost and practically can be used before words like any , anybody , anything , etc.:
I'll eat almost anything.
You can also use them before no , nobody , never , etc. but it is much more common to use hardly or scarcely with any , anybody , ever , etc.:
She's hardly ever in
She's almost never in
Almost can be used when you are saying that one thing is similar to another:
The boat looked almost like a toy.
In BrE you can use very and so before nearly :
He was very nearly caught.
· note at hardly
Old English æl mǣst for the most part , a composite of all and most .