a few football fans but <fewer/less> than in the general population.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by navi, May 12, 2009.

  1. navi Senior Member

    armenian
    Are these sentences correct:

    1-In this neighbourhood you have qutie a few football fans but less than in the general population.
    2-In this neighbourhood you have qutie a few football fans but less than you do in the general population.



    I think 'less' is corect here and 'few' would be wrong because we are speaking not of absolute figures but of relative ones. I am not sure that the sentences aren't wrong though.
     
  2. sp4rk13 Junior Member

    UK
    English - USA & UK
    I would use "fewer", because:

    In this neighbourhood you have quite a few football fans but fewer than in the general population.
    = In this neighbourhood you have quite a few football fans but fewer football fans than in the general population.

    Since football fans are countable, they should be referred to with "few".

    However, your sentences would sound fine in casual conversation, since a lot of people use "less" and "fewer" interchangeably.

    I hope this helps :)
     
  3. magicaltrevor Senior Member

    Hull UK
    English - UK
  4. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    Spain
    English, UK
    Unfortunately few people bother to make the distinction these days whether in speech or writing, or they are unaware of it.
     
  5. sp4rk13 Junior Member

    UK
    English - USA & UK
    It's sad :(
     
  6. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    Spain
    English, UK
    You may mock, but this is just one of many instances of sloppy usage that pervade the language. There are, of course. many that are far worse.:(
     
  7. sp4rk13 Junior Member

    UK
    English - USA & UK
    Sorry it came across like that -- I meant it and I absolutely agree with you!
     
  8. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    Spain
    English, UK
    Sorry, mock was too strong a word, but apparently it wasn't even mild irony. It is rare that anyone agrees with me on this, to my mind, valid and important point, so I didn't expect it. :)
     

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