Although the difference between ‘fewer’ and ‘less’ is quite simple, it is a little tricky to know when to use fewer and when to use less in a sentence.
- Fewer is the comparative form of few. Fewer is used before plural nouns.
There are fewer mangoes on this tree.
I’m saving money so I must buy fewer CDs.
Our college has fewer teachers than yours.
- Less is the comparative form of little. Less is usually used before nouns that are unquantifiable or nouns that are uncountable.
I always spend less money when I go out during the day.
To stay healthy, we must eat less salt.
He travels light; he always carries less luggage.
COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID
|There are less places left in this row.||There are fewer places left in this row.|
|Children should eat less sweets.||Children should eat fewer sweets.|
|My friend has fewer money to spend.||My friend has less money to spend.|
|We were allowed fewer time on the task.||We were allowed less time on the task.|
CAN YOU SPOT THE MISTAKES IN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES?
1) We have less cars on our streets these days.
2) That woman spends fewer time with her children.
3) I’ve had fewer cups of tea than you!
Now, test yourself!
- Build 4 sentences using fewer correctly.
- Build 4 sentences using less correctly.