In the following text how is the word "Meisten" correctly spelled, lower or upper case?

Alle Lebewesen müssen sich ernähren. Uns Menschen schmecken sehr unterschiedliche Sachen. Ein großes Tier frisst mehr als ein kleines. Es ist nicht alles für alle essbar. Manche Pflanzen können ungenießbar oder sogar giftig sein. Flüssigkeit nehmen wir alle zu uns. Für die meisten ist das Wasser.

Or are both variants correct? Why?

1 Answer 1


According to Duden both variants are correct.

The question why? is always hard to answer. Maybe you can see it this way: If you use die Meisten, then it's just like a noun meaning the majority. If you use die meisten, then it's like an ellipse - it's clear that the meaning is die meisten Menschen, but Menschen is just left out.

  • Why do you start your answer by saying that the why-question is hard to answer? You just did perfectly fine!
    – Em1
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 10:35
  • 1
    "Why"-questions regarding usage of language are often unproductive. These things often do not have "logical" reasons. Rather they follow traditions, and "reasons" are invented afterwards just to satisfy people asking "why". - By the way, die meisten was initially always spelled with small initial (as die wenigsten, im allgemeinen, im wesentlichen) but in the mid-1990s a commission, chiefly instigated by German provincial governments, decided that it would be preferable to allow capital letters; they thought it would help children learn spelling. (I doubt that.) Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 13:13

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