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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Feb 2011
    • Posts: 425
    #1

    lesser or less in this sentece

    I have come across this sentence

    Generally, although it is difficult to prove, if your unique fact situation meets the high factor-based statutory burden, and the marriage lasted for at least 10 years, you may be qualified to receive the lesser of $5,000 or 20% of the spouse’s monthly income, for a period of up to five years.

    Introductory remark
    I know what "the lesser of two evils" means. We have two evils here. But what about this

    1) I am not sure what "the lesser of $5,000". I could understand if it were "the lesser of two amounts" but what is the lesser of $5,000"?

    2) Another thing. Would it have a different meaning if I said "to receive less than $5,000 or 20%"?

    Any light on the issue?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,452
    #2

    Re: lesser or less in this sentece

    The sentence is OK as is. The two amounts are 1) $5,000 2) 20% of the spouse's monthly income.

    You might understand it better as

    '...you may be qualified to receive (either) $5,000 or 20% of the spouse’s monthly income, whichever is the lesser...'

    It would clearly have a different meaning if your said '...to receive less than $5,000...'

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