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The Less Money you Spend the More You Save – Less or Fewer

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By Olga Koliichuk

There are some problems with LESS and FEWER. Let’s make their meanings and usage clear.

  • LESS is a comparative degree of LITTLE.

Little is used with uncountable nouns (objects that you cannot count): time, love, flour, meat, money, etc.

Examples:

I received less love than my brother.

Now there is less time than last time, so be quick!

The less you spend now the more money you can save for the future.

Less can also be used with numbers. Here are some examples:

It will take you 7 minutes or less.

I need 70 dollars or less.

They want less than 50 Euros for their work.

 

  • FEWER is a comparative degree of FEW. FEW is used with countable nouns: fewer apples, fewer computers, fewer houses, fewer minutes, fewer illnesses.

Today we have fewer carrots than yesterday.

There are fewer students in this course now compared to last year.

 

 

Exercise. Where do you need to use LESS and where FEWER?

  1. The ____ money you have the ____ you can buy.
  2. The teacher said, “When I entered the classroom there were only five students or ___.”
  3. Do you think there were ___ pills in the bottle than we thought?
  4. Today I have ____ time for dinner.
  5. The ___ you read the more ignorant you will be.
  6. Last year I found ___ suitable colleges for my children than this year.
  7. The ___ sugar you eat the healthier you are.
  8. He tries to eat ___ potatoes and ___ bacon.
  9. Children nowadays read ___ books.
  10.  ___ people apply for this position.

 

Answers: Scroll down.

  1. The _less___ money you have the __less__ you can buy.
  2. The teacher said, “When I entered the classroom there were only five students or _less__.”
  3. Do you think there were _fewer__ pills in the bottle than we thought?
  4. Today I have _less___ time for dinner.
  5. The _less__ you read the more ignorant you will be.
  6. Last year I found _fewer__ suitable colleges for my children than this year.
  7. The _less__ sugar you eat the healthier you are.
  8. He tries to eat _fewer__ potatoes and  _less___ bacon.
  9. Children nowadays read _fewer__ books.
  10.  _Fewer__ people apply for this position.

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