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  1. nininaz's Avatar
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    #1

    Some people go to church, but less/fewer people than 20 years ago.

    Hello all,

    Please consider the following context extracting from Swan, Practical English Usage:

    “Nouns can be dropped after less and Fewer if the meaning is clear: e.g : Some people go to church, but less/fewer than 20 years ago. “

    Now, I have two questions about it:

    The first one :
    What is the grammatical role of 'less or fewer' on the sentence extracted from Swan book ?

    The second one :
    Can we revise the original sentence ( mentioned above) as bellow (In case noun cannot be dropped) ?
    Is 'people' dropped in the original sentence or 'go'?
    ‘ Some people go to church, but less/fewer people than 20 years ago.’
    If not, what is the correct sentence when noun(people) is not dropped ?

    Note: I have to say that I know the fact that ‘less’ is used with countable and non countable nouns in only informal English.

    Thanks all.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 04-Oct-2016 at 20:19. Reason: Removed unnecessary line breaks.

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    #2

    Re: Some people go to church, but less/fewer people than 20 years ago.

    1) An adjective and quantifier
    2) Both. But people is the obvious one (fewer people). It's correct as you wrote it with fewer people.

    Note: saying less people is not strictly 'correct', although many would say this is a natural and acceptable thing to say.

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    #3

    Re: Some people go to church, but less/fewer people than 20 years ago.

    More answers here.

  2. nininaz's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Some people go to church, but less/fewer people than 20 years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    More answers here.
    Thanks but their answers was so confusing that I donot understand anything.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Some people go to church, but less/fewer people than 20 years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by nininaz View Post
    Thanks but their answers was were so confusing that I donot did not understand anything.
    Note my corrections above.

    It is only fair to let us know that you have asked the same question somewhere else. In future, if you have already received responses on another forum, please include a link to those answers in your post and explain why you are asking us for further help.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: Some people go to church, but less/fewer people than 20 years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by nininaz View Post
    Thanks but their answers was so confusing that I donot understand anything.
    Maybe you're making it more complicated than necessary, although I admit it is a fairly difficult example from Swan. Anyway, I do suspect you understand the meaning of the sentence, and that's the important thing.

    Perhaps the clearest way to explain the thought in its grammatical entirety is thus:

    Some people go to church, but fewer [people go to church nowadays] than [the number of people who went to church] twenty years ago.

    Can you see now what has been omitted? We can see that the single word fewer is standing for the thought: fewer people go to church nowadays.

    I don't think it will help you to ask about the technical class of the word fewer. (By the way, I've changed my mind -- I don't see it as an adjective any more. Whatever it's called, it's substituting an entire clause -- maybe a 'pro-clause'?)

    Just understand the overall comparative meaning of the sentence and see that the words some and fewer are ways of quantifying, or saying how many people go, or used to go, to church.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 04-Oct-2016 at 21:36.

  4. nininaz's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Some people go to church, but less/fewer people than 20 years ago.

    Thanks my dear teacher. I really appreciate your great help. You are such an amazing teacher.

    "Some people go to church, but fewer [people go to church nowadays] than [the number of people who went to church] twenty years ago."

    The above example is actually what I wanted to know more.

    The main reason why I got confused much was according to the following explanation in the book:
    "3 less and fewer without nouns
    Nouns can be dropped after less and fewer if the meaning is clear."

    So , I think that the only noun that is clear and can be replaced is 'people' and then I put it after 'fewer' and so it didn't make sense to me at all.


    Many thanks again. Thanks all teacher and willing helpers.
    Last edited by nininaz; 05-Oct-2016 at 13:23.

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