What's the difference between 'no less than' and 'nothing less than'?

episteme0507

Member
Korean
Actually, I don't really notice any difference between 'no less than' and 'nothing less than'. And another pair of these expressions -- 'no more than' and nothing more than' -- is as well. Is there any slight difference between the two of each pair? As a non-native speaker of English, any subtle nuance which is provoked by similar words and expressions does not really transpire at all to me. Please let me know the difference between the two

Are they just interchangeable???
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    "No less than" usually signifies numbers. "Nothing less than" signifies a certain standard or level.

    There are no less than a hundred cars there.
    I want nothing less than perfection.


    You could use "no more than" the way "no less than" is used and it can also mean something that's appropriate, not in excess. "Nothing more than" is usually used in the context of something that's wanted.

    It's no more than he deserves. (Whatever he has got, he deserves.)
    There's nothing more I want now than a good night's sleep.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    No, they are not interchangeable.

    I want to pay no more than €5
    That is nothing less than scandalous.

    You use "no more than" to refer to a quantity, and "nothing more than" to refer to a quality
     

    episteme0507

    Member
    Korean
    Actually, I just posted this question due to this sentence I encountered. The source: askakorean.blogspot.kr -> The collective trauma that Korea suffered was no less than the same that the U.S. suffered in 2001. In this sentence, 'no less than' is interchangeable with 'nothing less than'. Isn't it? help me one more and thanks in advance! anyway, thank ya'll
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    In this sentence, 'no less than' is interchangeable with 'nothing less than'.
    That sentence means Koreans didn't suffer trauma to a lesser degree (on a certain occasion/at a certain time) than Americans did in 2001. It still refers to a "quantity", so to speak. I wouldn't use "nothing less than" in that sentence.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The collective trauma that Korea suffered was no less than the same that the U.S. suffered in 2001. I wouldn't use "nothing less" either.

    The collective trauma [...] was no less of a trauma than that suffered by the US...
     
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