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accounts for <fewer/less> than 3% of thyroid carcinoma

Discussion in 'English Only' started by reveur78, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. reveur78 Senior Member

    Philadelphia
    Italy, Italian
    Dear friends,

    which one is best?:

    1) Hurtle cell carcinoma accounts for fewer than 3% of thyroid carcinoma

    2) Hurtle cell carcinoma accounts for less than 3% of thyroid carcinoma

    I think both are correct, but I'm not sure.
    If both are correct, is there any difference between the 2 sentences?

    Thanks a lot :)
     
  2. Ecossaise Senior Member

    English
    fewer than - it is a numerical comparison
     
  3. reveur78 Senior Member

    Philadelphia
    Italy, Italian
    Thanks a lot for your quick answer :).

    Is "less than" completely incorrect in this context?
     
  4. Marty10001 Senior Member

    Dublin
    Ireland/English
    Use "less" with a singular noun and "fewer" with a plural.
    I would then say "less than 3%" but "fewer than 3 dogs".
     
  5. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
  6. Ecossaise Senior Member

    English
    It's a nice distinction - If you regard this as a numerical argument [the percentage of cases], then fewer is the word.

    However, if you regard this as an argument of quantity [volume], the you could use "less".

    I think in terms of medical research, the numerical comparison is more likely.
     
  7. Marty10001 Senior Member

    Dublin
    Ireland/English
    He makes less than £200 per week.
    Fewer than 200 people attended.
     

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