Hello, little darlings!
After a brief hiatus on my usual grammar rants, I have decided it’s time to post again. So here I am, to tell you about a very common mistake: Using “fewer” and “less” interchangeably.
This one’s actually very understandable, since when we think of “fewer,” we think of “less”. So if you want to roll your eyes, go ahead. But for some people, once they have learned something, they can’t unlearn it, and stick to the rule. I am one of those people.
According to Merriam Webster dictionary, fewer means “a smaller number of persons or things”.
It’s as easy as A, B, C…
Ok, cupcakes, here are a couple of examples:
Use fewer when referring to something you can actually count: “Next time you make this recipe, try using fewer cloves of garlic.”
Use less when referring to something you cannot count: “Next time you make this recipe, try using less water.” (You can measure cups of water, or teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce (thanks, Ivette!), but you can’t count the drops of water.
That is all for today’s lesson. It was short, but sweet.
Enjoy today’s solar eclipse; but don’t look up!
The Fairy Godwriter