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Thread: less

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    #1

    less

    Dear Teachers,

    I know that the word less precedes uncountable nouns and fewer countable.

    How would you explain the use of less in front of hours in the following sentence? It comes from this page: Flexible working | University of Bath .

    Annualised hours is when you work more hours during certain period of the year and less hours during other periods.

    Thank you very much for your help,

    4ania4
    Last edited by 4ania4; 05-Jun-2013 at 20:45. Reason: inserting the omitted "would"

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: less

    Quote Originally Posted by 4ania4 View Post
    Dear Teachers,

    I know that the word less precedes uncountable nouns and fewer countable.

    How you explain the use of less in front of hours in the following sentence? It comes from this page: Flexible working | University of Bath .

    Annualised hours is when you work more hours during certain period of the year and less hours during other periods.

    Thank you very much for your help,

    4ania4
    By classic grammar dogma, that would be a mistake. Many people, however, do not follow the rule that you posted. I still do.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: less

    Quote Originally Posted by 4ania4 View Post
    Dear Teachers,

    I know that the word less precedes uncountable nouns and fewer countable.

    How you explain the use of less in front of hours in the following sentence? It comes from this page: Flexible working | University of Bath .

    Annualised hours is when you work more hours during certain period of the year and less hours during other periods.

    Thank you very much for your help,

    4ania4
    This sometimes happens when it's not the individual hours, but the period of time that's being referred to. As a period of time, 100 hours is less than 200 hours. While it's true that 100 hours are also fewer than 200 hours, the sense here is of two blocks of time - hence both 'less' and 'is'.

    Here's another example:
    A: "I walked for 10 miles yesterday."
    B: "That's nothing. I walked for 20 miles, so you walked less miles than me." (This is probably substandard, but you'll hear it a lot.) The point is that it is the distance that is being compared. "You walked a lesser distance than I did."

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