- less */*/*/
- UK [les] / US
adverb, determiner, preposition, pronoun
Less is the comparative form of the function word little and can be used in the following ways: - as a determiner (before a noun): Eat less fat. ♦ Schools put less emphasis on being creative. - as a pronoun: Connie did less than anyone else. (followed by "of"): He seemed to spend less of his time with her. - as an adverb (before an adjective or another adverb): The red jacket is less expensive. (with a verb): I've been trying to work less at the weekends. - as a preposition (before a noun): a profit of £3,000, less tax
Get it right: less:
Don't confuse less and fewer: ▪ less is the comparative form of little. It is used mainly with uncountable nouns ▪ fewer is the comparative form of few. It is used with plural nouns
Wrong: He can express more things using less words.
Right: He can express more things using fewer words.
Wrong: If there were more policemen on the street, there would be less crimes.
Right: If there were more policemen on the street, there would be fewer crimes.
Right: If there were more policemen on the street, there would be less crime.
Wrong: Less and less people find it necessary to visit their friends when they can easily use the phone.
Right: Fewer and fewer people find it necessary to visit their friends when they can easily use the phone. In informal English, less is often found with plural nouns, but many people consider this to be incorrect, and it should be avoided in academic writing.1) a smaller amount used for referring to an amount that is smaller than another amount, smaller than before, or smaller than you expected
You should eat less and exercise more.less ... than:
The industry operates with less government control these days.
The new Ford is designed to use less fuel than earlier models.less of:
The workers earn less now than they did ten years ago.a little/bit less:
I aim to spend less of my time travelling.much/a lot/far less:
I wish you'd do a bit less talking and a bit more work.
Payments will be a lot less than many people were expecting.
There is far less trouble in the region now than there has ever been.2) used in making comparisons used for saying that there is not as much of a particular quality in one person or thing as in another, or not as much as there was beforeless ... than:
Farmers are having to work with older, less efficient equipment.much/a lot/far less:
Many women are involved in the movement, but less publicly than men.less of a:
The homework was a lot less difficult than I expected.
Getting there is less of a problem if you have a car.3) not happening as mucha) happening or doing something fewer times or for shorter periods of timeless than:
We've been trying to use the telephone less this month to keep costs down.
We talk a lot less than we used to.b) to a smaller degreeless ... than:not ... any (the) less:
My husband worries about things less than I do.
Even after she told me, I didn't respect her any less.4) taking a number away used in front of a number or amount to state that it should be taken away from another number or amount that you have just mentioned
We made £2,000 profit on the deal, less tax.5) not as much like one thing as another used for saying that one way of describing someone or something is not as true or as accurate as anotherless ... than:
His statement was less an apology than a confession.
The problem may be less a social issue than a legal one.•
the less ... the less/more— used for saying that when a particular activity, feeling etc is reduced, it causes something else to change at the same time
Sometimes it seems like the less I do, the more tired I feel.
less than honest/satisfactory/happy etc— not at all honest/satisfactory/happy etc
The director admits that he was less than enthusiastic about the new school uniforms.
It was obviously a less than perfect marriage.
The President has been shown to be less than honest.
still/much/even less— used after a negative statement in order to emphasize that it applies even more to what you say next
They are not interested in reading poetry, still less in writing it.
I am no-one's spokesman, much less his.- less of- no less
English dictionary. 2014.