Few vs. Less

Difference Between Few and Less

Few and less are two words in the English language that are often confused as the words that give the same direction. Really they are two different words that should be used differently.

Few mean ‘literally nothing’ when it comes to the number of an object or person as in the sentences

1. Few people understood what he spoke.

2. There are few books in the shelf.

In the first sentence using the word ‘few’ show that there was nobody who could understand that the person spoke. This means that the sentence means that ‘No one understood that he spoke’. On the other hand the use of ‘few’ in the second sentence gives the idea that ‘there is no book at all in the shelf’. Hence it is interesting that the adjective ‘few’ give a negative meaning ‘nothingness’’.

On the other hand the word ‘less’ shows a few objects or people depending on the context, as in sentences

1. There was less number of candidates who attended the interview.

2. The number of people who speak the dialect was less.

The use of the word ‘less’ shows the number of candidates in case the first sentence and the number of people if the second sentence. This is the main difference between the two words, namely, few and less.


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