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Speak English Right 2/2/17

Popularity 4Viewed 933 times 2017-2-3 07:03 |Personal category:English|System category:News| american, english, ielts, toefl

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Lesson 2/2/17

Good morning.


There are so many words in English which have different meanings. However, when you learn proper grammar and vocabulary, you must use the right words in the right way.


Today, I’m going to each you about two words that have similar meanings, yet, must be used in different ways.


Words

fewer 

less 


Use fewer with things that can be counted. Use less with qualities and quantities that cannot be counted.


Practice


English is a lot less difficult when you learn the right way.

There are fewer people who learn English the wrong way.

There are fewer people who like football than basketball.

There is less air pollution in China today.

There are fewer people who care about baseball.

There are fewer people in India than in China.

People couldn’t care less about playing golf today. (this means, ‘they really don’t care’)

The problem with people starving in the world is becoming less and less.


Notice that when we use the word ‘less’, we also use the verb ‘is’. When we use the word ‘fewer’ we use the verb ‘are’. Also, ‘less and less’ means that the number of something is getting smaller. It is a common phrase in English. You should learn it so that you can sound more like a native English speaker.


That’s all for today.

Goodbye for now.

I hope you have a  wonderful day!


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There are so many words in English which have different meanings. However, when you learn proper grammar and vocabulary, you must use the right words in the right way.


Today, I’m going to each you about two words that have similar meanings, yet, must be used in different ways.


Words


fewer 

less 


Use fewer with things that can be counted. Use less with qualities and quantities that cannot be counted.


Practice


English is a lot less difficult when you learn the right way.

There are fewer people who learn English the wrong way.

There are fewer people who like football than basketball.

There is less air pollution in China today.

There are fewer people who care about baseball.

There are fewer people in India than in China.

People couldn’t care less about playing golf today. (this means, ‘they really don’t care’)

The problem with people starving in the world is becoming less and less.


Notice that when we use the word ‘less’, we also use the verb ‘is’. When we use the word ‘fewer’ we use the verb ‘are’. Also, ‘less and less’ means that the number of something is getting smaller. It is a common phrase in English. You should learn it so that you can sound more like a native English speaker.


That’s all for today.

Goodbye for now.

I hope you have a  wonderful day!



(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report Gayle 2017-3-10 11:13
Thanks for posting these lessons.  I would add that "less" and "fewer" are also sometimes confused by native English speakers (substituting "less" for "fewer" as in "there are less people there today").  This is considered bad grammar and a mark of poor education, and teachers tell their students not to do it.  

Some grammar mistakes would never be made by a native English speaker, no matter what social class or education level; for example, Michael (the blogger) mentioned "I very like you" in a different blog.  Although an English speaker would understand the meaning of "I very like you," no English speaker, regardless of education level, would ever say that; it sounds like a foreigner's mistake.  

On the other hand, "there are less people today" might be spoken by a native English speaker, and would be considered a sign of low education.  Schools teach their students how to speak "properly" and not like a person of low education and low social class.  So this type of mistake reflects one's level of schooling.

So, one kind of grammar mistake can make you sound like a foreigner, while another kind of grammar mistake could make you sound like a native speaker of low education.  

From the point of view of Linguistics (the science of language) there is no such thing as a grammatical mistakes among native speaker of a language. There are only usages that are of high social prestige and low social prestige.  Using "less" for "fewer" is not incorrect from a Linguistics point of view, but socially it is a marker of poor education. Of course, anyone taking the trouble to learn English wants to be respected as an educated person, so that is why they need to learn the same grammar rules ("less" vs "fewer") as English-speaking schoolchildren.

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MichaelM

Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.

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