- [les]grammar word summary: Less can be: ■ a determiner: Schools put less emphasis on being creative. ■ a pronoun: Connie did less than anyone else. ♦ He seemed to spend less of his time with her. ■ an adverb: The red jacket is less expensive.1) a smaller amountAnt:moreYou should eat less and exercise more.[/ex]The industry operates with less government control these days.[/ex]The new Ford is designed to use less fuel than earlier models.[/ex]I aim to spend less of my time travelling.[/ex]I wish you'd do a bit less talking and a bit more work.[/ex]2) to a smaller degree, or not as oftenAnt:moreWe've been trying to use the telephone less this month.[/ex]The homework was less difficult than I expected.[/ex]My husband worries about things less than I do.[/ex]We talk a lot less than we used to.[/ex]•less and less — gradually getting smaller in amount or degree[/ex]Fishing was growing less and less profitable.[/ex]the less...the less/more — used for saying that when a particular activity, feeling etc is reduced, it causes something else to change at the same time[/ex]Sometimes it seems like the less I do, the more tired I feel.[/ex]no less than — used before a number or amount for showing that it is large and surprising[/ex]Exports have risen by no less than 80% in the last ten years.[/ex]Both fewer and less can be used to refer to an amount that is smaller than another amount. ■ Use fewer before plural nouns: Fewer people turned up than expected. ■ Use less before uncountable nouns: You'll get a smoother finish if you use less paint. ■ In informal English, some people now use less rather than fewer before plural nouns, although many people think that this is not correct.
Dictionary for writing and speaking English. 2014.