Tag Archive - Less and Lesser

More or Less

Who would imagine a little word like less could be less than simple to use correctly?

As an adjective, less can be used before a singular noun only:

  • I would like less cream in my coffee.

But lesser (not as great in quantity, size, or value) is used before a plural noun:

  • Lesser men have attempted that climb.

You can be given “a lesser” job (which does not mean “smaller”), but you can’t use the article a with less.

  • He was given less responsibility.

However, if less is used as an adverb, you can use a:

  • She has a less prominent position than before.

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