Words Students Confuse - fewer and less

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,220 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
What is wrong with this picture?


The problem is that it should read "10 items or fewer!"

In English, we have nouns that are countable (like tree, or book) and nouns that are uncountable (like money or information).

Countable nouns are modified by one set of words (many, less) while uncountable nouns are modified by a different set of words (much, fewer).

On this sign, the word items is countable - one item, two items, three items. So it is modified by the adjective fewer.

Choose fewer or less in the following sentences.
1. I thought I had more shoes, but I found ______________ shoes in the cupboard than I expected.
2. It will take you ________________ time to write your paper if you do your research first.
3. ______________ people came to the second concert because the weather was worse.
4. He eats _______________ food now that his doctor told him his weight is too high.
5. It will cost you ______________ money if you pay in cash.
6. Our report has _______________ pages than the previous one, so it's easier to read.

Click here for the correct answers.

1. I thought I had more shoes, but I found fewer shoes in the cupboard than I expected.
2. It will take you less time to write your paper if you do your research first.
3. Fewer people came to the second concert because the weather was worse.
4. He eats less food now that his doctor told him his weight is too high.
5. It will cost you less money if you pay in cash.
6. Our report has fewer pages than the previous one, so it's easier to read.

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