(the) least - (the) most

Hi! I noticed that you say (e.g.)
My brother eats the least in my family. (not …eats least…)
but you say
Of all films, this is the one I liked b least[/b]. (both possibilities are correct?)
The same for most:
My brother eats the most in my family. (not …eats most…)
This is the novel I enjoyed b most[/b]. (both possibilities are correct?)
Any grammar rules on this point? Thank you for your kind attention!

Hi Avril,

The definite article ‘the’ is often dropped before the superlative because in a sentence like: This is the novel I enjoyed best, the sense meant is: the best of all the novels I have enjoyed. In all your sentences both possibilities are acceptable.


Thank you, Alan, for your reply. I didn’t know it was possible to say “My brother eats least/most in my family.”, because to me it meant “the least/the most food”. Since you cannot apply this structure to the case “The novel I liked (the) best/least”, I was looking for some “rules”.