mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest
smaller less? Options
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 2:28:24 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 1,703
Neurons: 18,823
My cake is less than yours.
My cake is smaller than yours.


Any difference in meaning?
thar
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 4:16:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 25,449
Neurons: 103,256
Smaller/bigger is size.
My cake is smaller than yours.
Your cake is bigger than mine.
That is a whole cake in each case.

Fewer/more is the number of something.
My cake has ten candles. Yours only has five.
Your cake has fewer candles than mine.
My cake has more candles than yours


More/less is the amount of something.
If I have a big slice and you have a small slice, then
I have more cake than you.
You have less cake than me.

But not 'your cake is less'. That is not amount, that is size.
Your cake/your slice of cake is smaller than mine.



amount (uncountable)
some/ a little / a lot of
more / less than

number
some /many / a lot of
more /fewer than

size
small / big
smaller /bigger than

cake/a cake is both countable and uncountable.
So you can have less cake than me.
But
your cake is less than mine is wrong.
Your cake is smaller than mine (two countable cakes)
You have less cake than me. (uncountable amount).





Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 9:06:23 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 1,703
Neurons: 18,823
My share of cake is less than yours. - wrong?
My share of cake is smaller than yours.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 9:59:09 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 25,449
Neurons: 103,256
Hmmm, really that is a description of the size
so my share of the cake is smaller, your share is bigger.

I was thinking 'my share is less' might be OK-ish, but then looking at the opposite 'your share is more' I changed my mind. That does not work.

My share of the cake is smaller than yours.
Because a share has size, but it is not uncountable. We each have a share.

I have less cake than you.
Those are uncountable amounts.
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 10:55:27 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 1,703
Neurons: 18,823
Can it be the case that "a share of cake" can be of two different type: countable and uncountable? A clear-cut slice and pulp?
thar
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 11:26:24 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 25,449
Neurons: 103,256
no, it is the cake that is both a countable thing (like a loaf) and uncountable stuff (like bread)


so countable things
you can have a slice of cake, a slice of bread, a loaf of bread, a glass of water, a cake



uncountable mass things
bread, cake, water

a share is countable - my share and your share together make two shares. One share is smaller than the other, or they are the same size.
It doesn't matter how it is presented, it is the action of portioning out that counts. Each share has size.


I don't know if this will help or confuse you, but there is another set of adjectives you might see with 'share' which is "lesser" and "greater". That means smaller and bigger. They are just some archaic adjectives that have survived in certain rare forms. 'Great' survives in names like Great Britain -literally "Big Britain" - Grande Bretagne, Großbritannien). But less is never used in that way. Lesser/greater means smaller/bigger. So the Islands in the Caribbean are the Lesser Antilles (the little ones) and the Greater Antilles (the bigger ones like Cuba and Hispaniola).
So you have the bigger share and the smaller share. But it sounds more formal to talk about the greater share and the lesser share when it is a ratio. Not a slice, but a fraction.
eg when money is spent by the government, a greater share goes to the military and the lesser share goes to public transport.
I am only putting that in in case you see 'lesser share' somewhere and think that is related to 'less'. It isn't, it is something different. Less is already a comparative meaning a smaller amount of an uncountable thing. Lesser means smaller (of an island or fraction) or not as good ( of a person). But if this paragraph just adds confusion, ignore it. It is not an answer to your question here.
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.