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Fewer vs. Less


Fewer or less?

Fewer and less can be confusing. Although both words are used as comparatives, they are used differently. Here are the rules.

Fewer

Fewer is used with countable nouns, things that can be counted or that normally have a plural such as friends, books, students..

Examples:

  • There are fewer customers theses days than last summer.
  • I should eat fewer candies.
  • There are fewer cookies in the box

Less

Less is used with uncountable nouns, things that can't be counted or that don't normally have a plural such as money, bread, water...

Examples:

  • He has less money
  • There is less drinking water in the village because of the drought.
  • You should spend less time playing video games.

Less with numbers

As discussed above less is normally used with uncountable nouns and fewer with countable nouns. There are, however, some exceptions; less can also be used with counting nouns that denote distance, amount, or time.

Examples:

  • Less than two weeks
  • Less than two miles.
  • Less than three kilos.

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Countable and uncountable nouns
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