‘Less’ or ‘Fewer’?

Often, ‘less’ is used when ‘fewer’ is meant. This is easily done, particularly as we are often taught that ‘less’ is the opposite of ‘more’. Basically, use ‘fewer’ when talking about a countable number, but ‘less’ when you mean something that doesn’t have a plural or can’t be counted: ‘fewer dancers have less visual impact.’

danceFewer

‘Fewer people are learning the foxtrot at school these days.’

‘The shop sold fewer feather boas than ever before this year.’

‘Fewer than one in ten adults can perform a proper samba.’

‘There are fewer dance numbers in films than there used to be.’

Less

lift

‘I dance to less pop music than I used to.’

‘There’s less talent than there ought to be.’

‘I should spend less time trying to do the lift from Dirty Dancing.’

‘Less’ is only ever used with numbers when they are on their own or used as expressions  of time or measurement: 

 

‘The tap class lasted less than two hours.’

‘She travelled less than three metres with that leap.’

less-fewer

I hope this will help you make fewer errors in the future!

Please like and share if you’ve found this helpful!

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1 Comment

Filed under Common Errors, Proofreading

One response to “‘Less’ or ‘Fewer’?

  1. This is fantastic, I have nothing to add. I’m not sure if that makes me speechless now, or speechfewer.

    Like

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