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Less is not more; it’s fewer

Posted by Wendy Wood on 15th January , 2020 in Grammar
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We’ve all seen the grocery store signs of “10 items or less” over the express check-out lanes. But did you know, “10 items or fewer” is the grammatically correct option?

Fewer: Adjective – a smaller number of (Dan made fewer mistakes than I did.) Use when referring to people or with countable nouns.

Less: Adjective – smaller in size, amount, degree; fewer in number (It’s a better job, but they pay him less money.) Use with something that can’t be counted or with singular mass nouns. Less is also used with numbers when they are on their own and with expressions of measurement or time. (Her weight dropped from 60 kilos to less than 55. Their marriage lasted less than two years.)

Wendy Wood



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