Less and fewer

Confused about when to use less or fewer?

There’s a rule in English that we treat countable nouns and uncountable nouns differently. This comes into play for fewer and less.

If we’re talking about countable nouns – things you can count – we use fewer. Ten items or fewer (we can count the items); fewer animals; fewer people; fewer tax increases; fewer sunshine hours.

If we’re talking about uncountable nouns – things that you can’t count, or you’d usually measure – we use less. Less milk, less rain, less climate change, less pain, less sunshine.

 

 


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