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  1. #1
    Peter Chung is offline Newbie
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    Should we use "less" or "fewer"?

    1. Suppose it took me 2 hours to drive to Richmond and 5 hours to drive to Williamsburg,
    can we say "It took me 3 hours less to drive to Richmond than to Williamsburg"?

    2. Suppose Ken bought 2 pounds of pork and Tom bought 5 pounds of pork,
    can we say "Ken bought 3 pounds of pork less than Tom (did)"?
    Or should we say "Ken bought 3 fewer pounds of pork than Tom (did)"?


    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Should we use "less" or "fewer"?

    Less doesn't carry more of a "math notion."

    The distinction is made between countable and uncountable items. We have less food. We have fewer apples.

    This distinction is not always followed. The first sentence would have to be "It took me 3 fewer hours to drive..."

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Should we use "less" or "fewer"?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    This distinction is not always followed. The first sentence would have to be "It took me 3 fewer hours to drive..."
    That sounds strange to me.

    "It took me 3 hours less to drive to Richmond than to Williamsburg" is fine in BrE. We think of '3 hours' as an amount of time.

    Three hours is a long time.
    I paid 3 less than Fred for my meal.
    $1,000 is a lot of money.

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