Comparatives and Superlatives
Much and Many
Much and many are used with count and non-count nouns, respectively. For example, you say much time (non-count) but many hours (countable).
The comparative and superlative forms of much and many are
much - more - the most
many - more - the most
Little and Few
(A) little and (a) few are also used with count and non-count nouns. For example, you say little time but a few hours.
Their comparative and superlative forms are
little - less - the least
few - fewer - the fewest
What’s the Problem?
There was a time when less and the least were also used as the comparative and superlative forms of few. For whatever reason, some grammarians decided that, because fewer and fewest also existed, it would be preferable to use fewer and fewest to keep the table “neat” (i.e., without alternate forms for few).
People took this suggestion as a steadfast rule. Now, there are many who balk at using “less” for countable nouns as in “15 items or less.” Even though “15 items or fewer” sounds odd to most speakers, grammar sticklers insist that is the only grammatically acceptable form.
The Bottom Line
To be safe, whenever you are using “fewer” or “less” in a formal situation such as writing a business letter or an academic essay, choose fewer for count nouns and less for non-count nouns.
Based on this lesson and the video, type in the blank provided correct form of the word in parentheses to complete each sentence using fewer, fewest, less, or least.
Use the “standard grammar” rules.
When you are finished, click “Answer.”
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the fewest (mistakes)
less (“two hours” is a measured quantity or amount, so it is considered singular)
fewer (sugary drinks)
fewer (“half of the students” is grammatically countable and plural)
the fewest (tornadoes)
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