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jueves, 12 de enero de 2012

Nouns. The number game.

Hello everyone. Time to get serious, don´t you think?

As you know Nouns can be divided into countables and non-countables (or mass) nouns.

Countables nouns are:
- those used to name things that can be (reasonably enough) counted.
(one egg, two sausages,...)

- those that you can number: because you can easily count the specific number of items.

- therefore you can ask How many?

Mass or non-countable nouns are:
- those that can´t be reasonably counted and therefore has no plural.
(air, hair, milk, money, sand, stupidity and wisdom,...)

- quantities of non-countable nouns are described as an amount of hair, sand, rubbish,...
Either because they refer to an unsoecified amount of stuff or because there are too many individual bitsto number (sand, hair).

-therefore we don´t ask how many, but how much? And less (not fewer) to refer to a smaller amount or not as much

Fewer and less: a common mistake.

- Fewer: For countable nouns we use fewer (not less)

i.e: There were fewer days below freezing last winter.
(not less, as days can be counted)

- Less: For non-countable nouns we use less (not fewer), meaning a smaller amount or not as much.

i.e:  I drank less water than she did.

When referring to time or money, less is normally used even with numbers. Specific units of time or money use fewer only in cases where individual items are referred to.

i.e: I have less time to do this work,
but also...I have less than an hour to do this work.

I have less money than I need,
but also...I have less than twenty dollars.

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