Using lo que + más/menos for what + verb + the most/the least

When we use lo que in a superlative sentence we use it with más and menos to express "what  (verb) the most/the least...":

Lo que más/menos (verbo)...

Have a look at the following examples:

Lo que más me gusta de ti son tus ojos.What I like the most about you is your eyes.

Lo que menos me apetece ahora es pasar el fin de semana contigo.What I least wish for right now is to spend the weekend with you.

Tu pasividad es lo que más me sorprende de todo esto.Your indifference is what surprises me the most in all this.

Lo que menos esperaba de ella era ese gran regalo.What I least expected from her was that great present.

The natural placement of más/menos is right after lo que and before the verb, although it is not grammatically incorrect to place it after the verb:

Lo que me apetece menos ahora es pasar el fin de semana contigo.What I least wish for right now is to spend the weekend with you.

But depending on which verb you use it could sound a little clumsy, so we recommend placing it before the verb.

It's important to note that in Spanish there is no article before más and menos unlike the construction in English where you use the most/the least. This is a common mistake:

Lo que lo más me gusta... 

Lo que quiero lo más...

When we add an adjective or a noun to the superlative, e.g. "what I find the most difficult..." or "what has given me the most strength..."  we keep the same structure, although this time it generally sounds more natural to place the verb right after lo que:

Lo que (verbo) más/menos (adjetivo/noun)...

For example:

Lo que he encontrado más difícil en este proyecto ha sido la falta de información en internet.What I've found the most difficult in this project has been the lack of information on the internet.

Lo que me dio más esperanza fue la sonrisa del entrevistador al final.What gave me the most hope was the interviewer's smile at the end.

One thing to consider here is that in Spanish these sentences use the same structure for a comparative and a superlative. This can be interpreted in two different ways:

Lo que me dio más esperanza fue la sonrisa del entrevistador al final.

1What gave me the most hope was the interviewer's smile at the end.

2. What gave me more hope was the interviewer's smile at the end.

Both are expressed in exactly the same way in Spanish.

See also Using lo que = what, which, that which, the thing that (relative pronouns) 

Want to make sure your Spanish sounds confident? We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Lo que me dio más esperanza fue la sonrisa del entrevistador al final.What gave me the most hope was the interviewer's smile at the end.
Lo que he encontrado más difícil en este proyecto ha sido la falta de información en internet.What I've found the most difficult in this project has been the lack of information on the internet.
Lo que me apetece menos ahora es pasar el fin de semana contigo.What I least wish for right now is to spend the weekend with you.
Tu pasividad es lo que más me sorprende de todo esto.Your indifference is what surprises me the most in all this.
Lo que menos esperaba de ella era ese gran regalo.What I least expected from her was that great present.
Lo que más me gusta de ti son tus ojos.What I like the most about you is your eyes.
Lo que menos me apetece ahora es pasar el fin de semana contigo.What I least wish for right now is to spend the weekend with you.
Thinking...