have <fewer/less> limitations

Discussion in 'English Only' started by maraba, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. maraba

    maraba Senior Member

    Hello; I found the following text:

    If the student uses communicative strategies, he/she will have less limitations when understanding and being understood in English.

    Although, the MS Word grammar checker advises me to use or "less limitation" or "fewer limitations".

    Does it mean less limitations is not grammatical?

    Thank you very much for your interest and have a nice day.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2016
  2. Franzi Senior Member

    Astoria, NY
    (San Francisco) English
    Native speakers often replace 'less' with 'fewer' and vice versa. "Less limitations" is not grammatical, and I think it sounds bad, but you'll certainly see people using it.
  3. maraba

    maraba Senior Member

    Thanks so much, Franzi. :)
  4. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    If you do a search for "less" and "fewer" in WR, you'll find this topic has been discussed many times. The general rule is that you use "fewer" with countable nouns: fewer books, fewer errors, etc. and you use "less" with non-countable nouns: less milk, less time, etc. Following this rule of thumb, "less limitations" would be INCORRECT :cross:, and "fewer limiitations" would be CORRECT :tick:.

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