Tuesday Tidbits #2- When to use “less” and when to use “fewer”

Now, I wouldn’t call myself a Grammar Nazi, exactly. More like a friendly Grammar Neighborhood Watch.

When it comes down to it, internet slang and grammar slip ups don’t really bother me, but if you’re writing a book or a blog post or an essay, you want to make sure your writing stands out by being as grammatically correct as possible.

One thing I notice a lot is when someone uses “less” when they should use “fewer.” I can’t help it; it’s a reaction left over from my Writing Tutor days. Seriously, I never felt closer to Stannis Baratheon than in these moments:

Fewer

Basically, every sign you see that says “10 items or less” is JUST WRONG! The rule is actually super simple; if you can count it, use “fewer,” if not, use “less.” So, you would have fewer items, but less stuff. Fewer dollars, but less money. Fewer books, but less happiness.

Knowing the difference is just one of those little things that can really make you stand out as a writer (or blogger or student)!


Thanks for reading!

Are there any little grammar issues that get under your skin?  Do you think I’m a grammar Nazi for being so particular about this?  Let me know in the comments below!

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