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adv. at the least
Discussion of 至少
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起码 vs 至少 vs 最少
1. 起码 (minimum, elementary, rudimentary) is very informal and it can be an adjective or an adverb. The fact that 起码 can be an adjective means that, 1) it can modify a noun, and 2) it can be modified by another adverb indicating extent:
起码的常识 r/s [n] elementary common sense
最起码 -/- [adj] minimum, least
2. 至少 is less informal and it can only be an adverb. This means 至少 cannot be used in the two examples above.
3. 最少 is "the least"; In these two examples below, we can only use 最少:
他干最少的活儿，却拿最多的工资。 r/- [phr] He does the very minimum work, but gets the most salary.
青海省的人口则是最少的。 -/- [phr] The Qinghai Province has the least population.
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