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I would like to know an equivalent word for "by far" in Mandarin, when it comes to the superlative degree (最~).

For example:

有的人之所以不吃早餐是大概为三种理由而划分了。第一个是来不及,第二个是减肥,而第三个是很麻烦。但是第一个理由是最多的

In this sentence, it just means 最多, while it does not mention the degree of it. It might be 40%, or 25%, or 79%. It is natural to say it is "最多" as it is the first reason here, but it is unclear if it is "by far" or "barely ahead of the second".

But when the first choice consists of 79% while the second one is just 9%, I would rather like to use "by far" or its equivalent word to emphasize it.

The Chinese grammar wiki's section on superlative 最 does not mention the emphasis.

Does this kind of word or expression exist in Mandarin?

  • 但是第一个理由占绝大多数 – fefe Jun 7 '18 at 7:13
  • You can look at 大幅 as well, but I feel like this is haggling over semantics, rather than focusing on emphasis, especially if we’re talking about colloquial Chinese. – user3306356 Jun 7 '18 at 7:58
  • as e.g. iciba shows "superlative + by far" usually corresponds to merely 最+形容词,to indicate wide margin iciba has "by a substantial margin" 以相当大的优势, "by a wide margin" 大幅度,以较大的差距,以很大差距 – user6065 Jun 7 '18 at 9:01
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In Chinese, the equivalent of by far could be 远超 or 遥遥领先. You can put in your context:

但是第一个理由远超 其它(两个)。

Or:

但是第一个理由(所占比例)遥遥领先.

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I would say:

但絕大多數是第一個理由

or

但主要是第一個理由

Using "絕大多數" or "主要" as an adv with "是" to describe the choice consisting of 80% or so sounds more natural.

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