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Thread: fewer v/s less

  1. #1
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    Default fewer v/s less

    when do we use the term fewer and less

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    Default Re: fewer v/s less

    There are fewer whales now than there were last year.

    There is less water in this glass than in that one.

    Fewer is used before plural words, and less is used before uncountable words.

    Fewer coins, fewer people, fewer words.
    Less sugar, less money, less time.

    I hope this is easy to understand.

  3. #3
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: fewer v/s less

    That's not quite the whole picture, Boothling.

    +++++++++++++

    http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/less

    M-W online:

    less

    usage The traditional view is that less applies to matters of degree, value, or amount and modifies collective nouns, mass nouns, or nouns denoting an abstract whole while fewer applies to matters of number and modifies plural nouns. Less has been used to modify plural nouns since the days of King Alfred and the usage, though roundly decried, appears to be increasing.

    Less is more likely than fewer to modify plural nouns when distances, sums of money, and a few fixed phrases are involved <less than 100 miles> <an investment of less than $2000> <in 25 words or less> and as likely as fewer to modify periods of time <in less (or fewer) than four hours>.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: fewer v/s less

    Quote Originally Posted by shaily_m30 View Post
    when do we use the term fewer and less
    Just a little more input from the AHD:


    USAGE NOTE The traditional rule holds that fewer should be used for things that can be counted (fewer than four players), while less should be used with mass terms for things of measurable extent (less paper; less than a gallon of paint). However, less is used in some constructions where fewer would occur if the traditional rule were being followed. Less than can be used before a plural noun that denotes a measure of time, amount, or distance: less than three weeks; less than $400; less than 50 miles. Less is sometimes used with plural nouns in the expressions no less than (as in No less than 30 of his colleagues signed the letter) and or less (as in Give your reasons in 25 words or less).

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    Default Re: fewer v/s less

    I was attempting an explanation of the basics that a non English-speaker would find easy to follow.

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