Grammarly – Less Vs Less

Grammarly Fewer Vs Less

You’re standing at the checkout line in the supermarket, ready to buy your food. The sign above the express lane says, “10 items or less.”

You’re confused by this and want to know whether the sign is correct. Grammarly Fewer Vs Less can help you decide!

Less vs. Fewer

Less and fewer are two of the most common adjectives that cause a lot of trouble. They are often used incorrectly and can sound jarring to readers.

In Grammarly, we use less with singular uncountable nouns and fewer with plural countable nouns. This rule is simple, but it works most of the time.

We use fewer when talking about things that can be counted, like people, cars, and food items. If you can’t count something, we use less (less salt, fewer grains of sand, fewer ambiguities).

We also use fewer when talking about singular mass nouns, or things that cannot be easily counted. These include things like love, dishonesty, foolishness, and humor.

Singular Nouns

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Plural Nouns

Plural nouns refer to a group of people, things, animals, or ideas. They usually end in -s or -es, but irregular plural nouns may have their own special plural forms.

Countable nouns are nouns that can be easily counted, such as people, cars, and weather. They have a plural form by adding an “-s” or an “-es.”

Uncountable nouns, on the other hand, cannot be counted. These are called mass nouns or uncountable nouns, and they represent abstract concepts (information, advice), physical objects that are difficult to separate into individual items (rice, water), and general names for the sciences and sports (psychology, football).

Grammar books often erroneously argue against using less with countable nouns because they believe it’s an attempt to make them “mass nouns.” However, if you’re talking about something that can be measured as a number, use less. Examples include distances, sums of money, units of time and weight, and statistical enumerations.

Uncountable Nouns

Uncountable nouns are people, animals, places, things or ideas that cannot be counted. They can be concrete (e.g., a house), collective (e.g., furniture) or proper nouns (e.g., a tree).

Abstract nouns are also considered uncountable nouns. These include ideas that don’t exist as physical objects, such as information or knowledge.

Other types of uncountable nouns include amorphous substances such as liquids, materials, grains, and powders. These are typically referred to as “mass nouns,” because they are considered wholes, rather than individuals.

Grammarly can help you catch all of these confusing nouns, along with many more grammatical and punctuation errors. It’s free, and it works on virtually every device you use, so you can keep your writing polished wherever you go.