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Monday, February 11, 2013

Criminal Sentence 631: Less vs Fewer

A headline in today's paper:

"Less New Year fireworks in badly polluted Beijing"

That would need to be "Fewer ... fireworks."

If you can pair "many" with the noun, you use "fewer"; if you pair "much," you use "less."

We'd write "many fireworks," not "much fireworks."


Westley said...

My less/fewer check has to do with coutability. If you can count it, then there are fewer. If you can measure it, then there is less.

The cup has fewer marbles but less water.

Anonymous said...

One can have less fireworks without having fewer fireworks. Ten rockets with a reduced amount of gunpowder will produce less fireworks than ten rockets with the regular amount of gunpowder.