Aprende como usar “Fewer or Less” en inglés aquí:

Fewer and less are comparatives that mean the opposite of “more.” They mean the same thing, but fewer is used with countable/mass nouns, while less is used with uncountable nouns.

In order to understand fewer or less, it is important to know the difference between countable (also called count) and uncountable (also called mass or non-count) nouns. Countable nouns are those that are separate (people, places, things, ideas) from others and can be counted individually. Uncountable nouns are also called ‘mass’ nouns, and are the names of materials, liquids, collections, and abstract qualities that are not separate objects and do not have distinct boundaries. See examples below.

Countable Nouns:

cats, men, people, grains of rice, cups of water, apples, chairs, cars

Uncountable Nouns:

rice, water, weather, cotton, money, knowledge, coffee, traffic

Now that you remember countable and uncountable nouns – using fewer and less should be easy!

Fewer

Fewer is the comparative form of few, and is used before countable nouns in the plural form. It means NOT AS MANY.

  • We’re growing fewer apples than we used to.
  • He’s working fewer hours than he’d like.
  • There are fewer cars in this parking lot than that one.

Less

Less is the comparative of little, and is used before uncountable nouns. It means NOT AS MUCH.

  • I’m less knowledgeable than Einstein. (I’ve got less knowledge than Einstein.)
  • There will be less traffic at 7pm than at 4pm.
  • I’m drinking less coffee than I used to.

With and without of: We use of after fewer and less and before determiners. (the, my, this, our, us, etc.)

  • We hope to spend less of our time at work and more at home with the kids.
  • The literature majors are still enthusiastic, but there are fewerof us than in the past.

If the nouns do not have determiners, do NOT use of.

  • If you want to lose weight, eat less food. (Not less of food.)
  • Fewer children are raised well these days. (Not fewer of children)

Without nouns: If the meaning is clear, you can drop the nouns after fewer and less.

  • There are still many options for me, but fewer (options) than there used to be.
  • I make much less (money) than I used to.

Lesser: We also use lesser as a somewhat formal way of saying “not as much,” or “smaller.”

  • He’s a lesser-known writer, but he’s just as talented.
  • When it comes to cookies or French fries, which is the lesser of two evils?

Special Circumstances:

Even though measurements (years, miles, dollars, etc.) are in the plural, fewer is not the correct choice because we’re actually still referring to the total amounts (of time, money, distance, etc.) rather than individual units.

  • When talking about distance, time, ages, and sums of money:
    • Companies less than two years old are considered startups.
    • Per capita income here is less than 50 dollars per year.
    • The city center is less than four miles away from our hotel.
  • Sentences and phrases with ‘than’, use less with numbers
    • His weight fell from 250 pounds to less than 200.
    • A student with a score of less than 70 will not pass the class.

We have things like bottled water and purchasable cups of coffee now. These uncountable ‘mass’ nouns can sometimes be used as countable nouns.

  • Can you bring me a water? (Referring to a bottle, cup, or glass.)
    • Can you bring fewer waters next time? Refers to the countable noun “cups/bottles of water.”
    • Can you bring less water next time? Refers to the uncountable/mass noun
  • I’m going next door to buy a coffee. (Referring to a cup of coffee, or a coffee beverage.)
    • You should drink fewer coffees in the morning. Refers to the countable noun “cups of coffee.”
    • You should drink less coffee.  Refers to the uncountable/mass noun

Lecciones de inglés con “Fewer or Less”

Practica como usar “fewer or less” en estas lecciones seleccionadas de nuestro curso EnglishNow aquí:

Will Robots Take All the Jobs?

The future of the workforce is upon us, and jobs left for humans might be scarce.

Topics:  Our Future  Technology  Skill Point: Fewer or Less

According to The Future of Employment by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, nearly half of jobs could be automated in the next 10-20 years. If you think the job market is bad now, imagine it with even more employable individuals and 50% fewer jobs.

Clearly not all jobs are easily replaced – we still haven’t found a way to replace health care workers, upper management, and decision-makers – but many jobs, including more dangerous ones, are better off handled by machines without risk of “human error.” Others are handled by machines simply because automation is more efficient. The tedious and repetitive tasks are first to go. Robotic arms can easily replace assembly line workers, automation can take over for telemarketers, and many of us have already replaced our tax preparers with online software programs. Until now, robots have stuck to more factory-related fields, but the newest innovations in computer technology will allow for more advanced artificial intelligence.

With an exponential rise of processing power, computers are getting smarter. They can quickly “learn” a set of human actions, and are increasingly more effective at recognizing fraud, identifying faces, and diagnosing illnesses. The Oxford University study thinks that 47% of all jobs will be capable of automation within the next two decades. It sounds like a disaster for the economy, but there are pros and cons to every type of innovation.

One thing we know is that history repeats itself, and no matter how resistant to change we may be, embracing innovation is the heart of technological evolution. The Industrial Revolution made a wide array of jobs completely obsolete, but launched dozens of new industries with even more jobs over several decades. Innovation breeds innovation, creates newer and better jobs, and supports safer and more efficient operations. More robots means fewer accidents and injuries, and more affordable goods and services for the general public.

We also know that the short-term effects are likely to be harsh. Income gaps will widen, several industries will shrink or disappear almost overnight, and it may take businesses years to rebound. Yet still, these problems are seen as temporary. Long-term benefits outweigh these issues. Each stage of advanced technology unleashes a new level of comfort and prosperity, and the highest skilled workers will be compensated the most.

Innovation in general is the perfect motivation for entrepreneurs. Huge companies in the tech industry such as Google and Facebook started as tiny entrepreneurs dreaming up new products that humanity never knew it needed.  These new and more advanced robots are likely to have a similar effect. The creative power of innovation is like a tsunami wave – you almost don’t realize what’s going on until you’ve ridden the wave a thousand feet and the landscape around you has changed.

Most of us agree that technological progress makes the world a better place. (For example, fewer than fifty years ago, dozens of diseases were certainly fatal, and those same diseases are now curable with a simple shot.) We know that streamlining work for the sake of efficiency is good, unless it sacrifices the quality or integrity of the product. And we never know if it will until we try.

Reading Comprehension

Writing

INTERMEDIATE: If you heard that a computer program was much more likely to diagnose illnesses more effectively than your general doctor, would you switch from standard care to automated care? In 200 words or less, answer this question, and discuss the potential pros and cons of automated health care.

ADVANCED: Come up with as many examples you can for when innovative technology replaced individual jobs. In 200 words, explain a few of them, and describe the pros and cons of these technological advancements. Feel free to include any type of pros and cons, such as social, financial, political, and environmental.