Word War with Cac the Proofreader – FEWER/LESS

Cac The Proofreader back with another WORD WAR! Today, LESS versus FEWER is on tap. And it can be quite tricky.
LESS basically means not as much and is used when you cannot count the items you’re referring to; in other words, if it’s a singular “mass” noun. Ask yourself if the noun in your intended sentence will be working with a countable or uncountable noun. Examples are: water, space, love. “I’ve been drinking less water than I used to.” Not an item you can count. “There’s less space in this closet.” Again, uncountable.
FEWER means not as many and is your choice when the noun IS countable. Example: “As my dog ages, she has fewer accidents.” “I make fewer grammatical mistakes since my training.” Both of these are countable noun items.
A great example for incorporating both words is: “If fewer people used disposable water bottles, there would be less plastic in landfills.” Countable and uncountable, respectively.
BIG TIP: A good way to test that a noun is truly uncountable is to try making a plural out of it, i.e., “I’d like fewer milks, please.” Doesn’t make sense, does it? Milk is not countable.
I hope you learned something today and that these make for smoother, stay-in-the-zone writing!
Send me your WORD WAR. I’d love to dissect it for all the world to benefit from.

My contact information is as follows:

833.I.PROOF.U/833.477.6638 HAPPY WRITING!

About claire

Claire Plaisted is an Author Consultant and Author who assists others to produce a professional manuscript to upload to various distribution websites or print at their local printer. Claire was born in the UK and migrated to New Zealand and is married to a Kiwi with three adult children and two cats.

2 thoughts on “Word War with Cac the Proofreader – FEWER/LESS

  1. Great read! What about hair versus hairs? It is quite a recurring phenomenon to hear people say hairs and I think it is wrong. Is strands of hair the right way to go?

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