student asking question

Can I say "utmost" instead of "foremost" here? Or do they have different nuance?

teacher

Native speaker’s answer

Rebecca

No, you can't replace "utmost" with "foremost" here. Although these words have similar meanings, they aren't used interchangeably; I am unsure why. "Utmost" means most significant or most extreme. It's used to emphasize how important something is. "Foremost" means very important or urgent. Ex: She shall be treated with the utmost care. Ex: This business deal needs to be treated with the utmost importance. Ex: Dr. William Abdu is one of the foremost doctors in the world. Ex: He is the foremost lawyer in the county.

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