More or less champagne? How to decide which

Image of champagne bottles

More, less, fewer. Have you ever been confused by these simple little words?

Here’s a quick way to work out which to use.

  • If the items can be counted, that is, they are discrete units, you can have more of them or fewer.
  • If the item cannot be counted, that is, there is an unknown volume, you can have more or less of it.
  • More bottles = more champagne.  Fewer bottles = less champagne.    
  • More champagne may = more headaches.  Less champagne may = fewer headaches.

Here are some examples using more and fewer:

  1. There are fewer patients at the hospital today; there were a lot more yesterday.
  2. There are more cars on the roads nowadays.  When I was young, there were fewer.
  3. We had fewer accidents this year, despite having more children in the playground.

Here are some examples using more and less:

  1. You need more flour in the cake, but less sugar.
  2. I think there is less water in the pond now the weather is warmer.
  3. We’ll need less paint to finish the decorating now we are using more wallpaper.

Here are some examples where we have used all the options:

  1. You need fewer bricks and less mortar to build a small house, but more of both to build a mansion.
  2. If you give your children more fruit and fewer sweets, they may have less tooth decay.
  3. More sleep – and fewer bad dreams – makes us less grumpy in the mornings!

Here is a simple graphic showing examples:

More, less, fewer graphic

 

Jane Thomas

Milton Contact Ltd.