Do you find it using "fewer " and "less" confusing? These two words confuse even native English speakers. Here's a quick guide for you!

It's easy to confuse less and fewer. It's because they both mean the opposite of more.

Fortunately, there's a quick and easy way to remember when to use which word.

FEWER is used for countable nouns. These are names of things that can be counted, like books, cats, biscuits, ideas, and people.

Countable nouns have two forms: singular (book) and plural (books).

Here are some examples:

1. Children are reading fewer books these days.
2. There are fewer cats in the park because it's cold.
3. This year, fewer people watch movies in theaters.

LESS is used for uncountable nouns. These are names of things that we can't count with numbers, like coffee, money, time, water, and electricity.

Uncountable nouns usually don't have a plural form. They are used with a singular verb.

Here are some examples:

1. You need to drink less coffee. Five cups a day is too much!
2. People want to spend less time commuting to work.
3. With our new refrigerator, we consume less electricity.

Some exceptions

We use less for money, even if we can technically count it. It's because we often think of money in bulk.

John has less than a hundred dollars in his pocket.

We normally use fewer with time, but we can use less as well, even if we can count seconds, minutes, and hours.

I've been studying English for less than two years.
Andrew hopes to spend fewer hours at work this starting this month.

We also use less for weight, even if they are measured in a countable way.

  • She now weighs less than 82 kilos.

Now, it's your turn! Choose the word that correctly completes the sentence.

1. My doctor asked me to drink (fewer, less) soda to lose weight.
2. Billy makes (fewer, less) money than Joelle.
3. (Fewer, less) children play outside these days.

We hope you found this post helpful!

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