are of less importance / are less important

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New Member
Sentence: Of course, individual leaders will exhibit variations derived from their place of origin, but these differenes are of less importance to us than the much broader philosophical and cultural underpinnings.

1. "place". Why not plural?
2. "are of less importance". Why not in this form "are less important"?

Thank you!
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    1. That's quite a difficult question. Often in English we use the plural when talking of a group each of whom has only one of something - take out your books, please (a teacher to a class, where each pupil has one book), though take out your book would be correct here too. I think the plural is possible in the sentence we are considering, just, but I'd use the singular, to accentuate the individuality of the place of origin.

    2. The to be of less importance sounds more grand to some ears than to be less important. Either is possible; usually I prefer the direct formula you suggest, Brucelu, but the other is not incorrect or very pompous.
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