28/6/18 Difference between Less and Fewer

People often don’t know when to use less and when to use fewer in a sentence. Here’s how to get it right.
  • Use fewer if you’re referring to people or things in the plural (e.g. housesnewspapers, dogsstudents, children).

For example:

People these days are buying fewer newspapers.

Fewer students are opting to study science-related subjects.

Fewer than thirty children each year develop the disease.

  • Use less when you’re referring to something that can’t be counted or doesn’t have a plural (e.g. moneyairtimemusicrain).

For example:

It’s a better job but they pay you less money.

People want to spend less time in traffic jams.

Ironically, when I’m on tour, I listen to less music.

  • Less is also used with numbers when they are on their own and with expressions of measurement or time.
For example:

His weight fell from 18 stone to less than 12.

Their marriage lasted less than two years.

Heath Square is less than four miles away from Dublin city centre.