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    #1

    less number vs few

    1) There were a less number of people present at the party.
    2) There were less number of people present at the party.
    3) There were few people present at the party.


    Can someone please tell me which of the above sentences sound(s) natural?

  1. jackolantern's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: less number vs few

    I am not an English teacher, but I am native speaker.

    Choice "C" sounds most natural of those: "There were few people present at the party."

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    #3

    Re: less number vs few

    Thanks a lot, jackolantern!

    If you had to choose between 1 and 2, which one would it be?

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    #4

    Re: less number vs few

    Quote Originally Posted by daemon99 View Post
    1) There were a less number of people present at the party.
    2) There were less number of people present at the party.
    4) There were a smaller number of people present at the party.

    5) 'There were fewer people present at the party.' is also and means the same as sentence 4.

    3) There were few people present at the party.
    6) 'There were a small number of people present at the party.' is also and means the same as sentence 3.
    Can someone please tell me which of the above sentences sound(s) natural?
    Sentences 4 and 5 don't have the same meaning as sentences 3 and 6. Sentences 4 and 5 are comparative; sentences 3 and 6 are not comparative.
    Last edited by 2006; 24-Jun-2009 at 06:06. Reason: fine tuning


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    #5

    Re: less number vs few

    Quote Originally Posted by daemon99 View Post
    There were a/- less number of people present at the party.
    There were few people present at the party.
    We usually use 'less' with uncountable nouns, and often in idiomatic expressions with measure phrases.

    Also

    Two is less than five.
    Two is fewer than five (Do we say so?)

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    #6

    Re: less number vs few

    Quote Originally Posted by daemon99 View Post
    1) There were a less number of people present at the party.
    2) There were less number of people present at the party.
    3) There were few people present at the party.

    Can someone please tell me which of the above sentences sound(s) natural?
    Only #3 is a possible sentence of English.

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