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Less vs. Fewer: Grammar Guide

Updated on July 25, 2013


When your quantity or quality can be counted numerically, use the term FEWER.

  1. I have fewer chocolates in my hand than I did five minutes ago.
  2. She has fewer shoes than her cousin.
  3. There are fewer people at the meeting this week.


When describing quantities or qualities that cannot be counted individually or when dealing with money or time, use the term LESS.

  1. I have less patience for ignorance than some people.
  2. She has less money than her sister.
  3. She has less lemonade.
  4. There seems to be less time for recreation since she started school.

Questions & Answers

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      • Nadine May profile image

        Nadine May 4 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

        Well this is a hub I need to bookmark. English not being my home language, but almost daily replying to emails in English, your hub has given me some glowing ears. Some readers of my rumblings must shake their head, not to mention my novels. My editor often had to swallow my writing style as not to lose my 'signature' as she called it. Hubpages has been a tremendous bonus and I've already learned a great deal. Thank you for your grammar guide.

      • profile image

        Diana 6 years ago

        So, "Fewer than 50%" vs "Less than 50%" Which is correct?

      • profile image

        Brad 7 years ago

        Right. And does the same distinction apply for more and mewer?

      • profile image

        Tarah  9 years ago

        Thank you for this. It's something I always struggle with.