Thursday, September 18, 2008

Less vs Fewer


We will consider a sentence correction question ,today and try to understand the difference between less and fewer.
example
When drive-ins were at the height of their popularity in the late 1950’s, some 4,000 existed in the United States, but today there are less than one-quarter that many.
A. there are less than one-quarter that many
B. there are fewer than one-quarter as many
C. there are fewer than one-quarter of that amount
D. the number is less than one-quarter the amount
E. it is less than one-quarter of that amount


well fewer is to be used in case of count nouns and less in case of mass nouns
now ,you might ask me what are they ,or might say this is more complicated than i expect and close the window,trust me i was one of those who used to close the window but now i realise that the human mind is the only thing that grows when used more.
Mass nouns vs Count Nouns
"10 items or fewer" vs "ten items or less"
TIP 1: whenever you can count use fewer 

all of you must love to have coffee ,well i do so i will use it as an example 
"coffee " is what is a mass noun ,you say bring me coffee i use it as a mass noun.
less coffee please while you pour it but if the waiter comes with 10 coffees and you are only 4 then you might ask him to get fewer coffees next time.what you have done here is converted a mass noun into a count noun.

here it goes what's the difference between them 
i have score less than yours vs i have a score fewer than yours ..
which one is correct 
exceptions 
time, distance and money , in these its customary to use less.
eg:I hope is costs less than 20$ rather than saying  fewer than 20$.


                      really nice tip about the fewer fish and less water.

                      http://alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/fxlessvs.html

                      http://www.yaelf.com/aueFAQ/miflessvsfewer.shtml
                      fewer" helps to distinguish "fewer successful professionals" (fewer professionals who are                                        successful) from "less successful professionals" (professionals who are less successful)

3 comments:

Rahul said...

Nice lesson, will practice and keep in mind, smaller things make you look stupid sometimes :)

Achilles's Heel said...

thanks :)

Aaditya said...

thks broo ..