Fewer and less

Posted on December 4, 2012

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Less and fewer are two varieties of one meaning, which describes small amounts of things. Remember that small can make a big difference.

If you can’t count a single component of something (a noun) you use less, for instance you can’t count flour, coffee, food, health, even money.

E: I think there is less money on my bank account and I don’t know why.

I have less food since I adopted a dog.

For fewer (a countable one) you can divide candies for each of your friends or kids even though it’s not actually that much.

E: Fewer and fewer people are now interested in Jane Austen’s novels since Fifty Shades of Grey was published.

Peter X was left with a few things on him, when he lost his memory.

Common error: 10 items or less – 10 items or fewer✓