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The number of fish is (greater/more) than 100. There are (more/greater) than 100 fish.

bmwhype2 wrote:

does it matter whether the noun is countable?

I've compiled this list myself after LOTS of trial and error. I like to think of it from the fewer/less perspective than the greater/more perspective. two sides of the same coin.

Greater vs. More
Fewer vs. Less

Fewer refers to countable nouns.
Less is used in groups/subsets, fractions, money, periods of time and distance, distance and numerical data.

There are fewer pollutants and less of certain pollutants. Group Less than forty percent of Americans have a healthy muscle to fat ratio. Fraction Dallas is less than twenty miles away and less than five minutes away. Distance & time Dallas is less than six feet tall. Numerical data Danny always carries less than two dollars in his wallet. Money

Brooklyn has a population of less than five million and fewer immigrants than ever before.
Brooklyn has a population of fewer than five million and less immigrants than ever before.

Countable / Non-Countable Many / Much
More (Number of Objects or When making comparisons) / Greater (used strictly with Numbers e.g. greater than one hundered)
Fewer (fewer than 100 students in the class) / Less (Less than 100 dollars)
Number, Majority, Minority, Plurality / Amount, Quantity

Countable / Non-Countable Many / Much More (Number of Objects or When making comparisons) / Greater (used strictly with Numbers e.g. greater than one hundered) Fewer (fewer than 100 students in the class) / Less (Less than 100 dollars) Number, Majority, Minority, Plurality / Amount, Quantity

Why not fewer than 100 dollars if fewer than 100 students is correct??????

Countable / Non-Countable Many / Much More (Number of Objects or When making comparisons) / Greater (used strictly with Numbers e.g. greater than one hundered) Fewer (fewer than 100 students in the class) / Less (Less than 100 dollars) Number, Majority, Minority, Plurality / Amount, Quantity

Why not fewer than 100 dollars if fewer than 100 students is correct??????

that is just the way it is. "less" is one of those sexy words that applies to several instances.

It is what GMAT English says and I prefer to hard-code their preference in mind.

Use greater only while dealing with numbers or in other words when dealing with amount, quantity..

Use fewer with any coutables e.g. while dealing with Number of people or to make comparison betw 2 countable quantities

The gyrfalcon, an Arctic bird of prey, has survived a close brush with extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than when the use of DDT was sharply restricted in the early 1970's.

A) extinction; its numbers are now five times greater than

B) extinction; its numbers are now five times more than

C) extinction; their numbers are now fivefold what they were

D) extinction; now with fivefold the numbers they had

E) extinction; now with numbers five times greater than

It has been a while since anyone has contributed to this thread, but after some searching, I found that the use of more has no bearing on whether it is countable or not.

e.g. There are more apples than oranges There is more water than juice

Greater seems to refer to being "Larger in size or importance or degree." Hence, we can say the following:

The number of apples is greater than the number of oranges The amount of water is greater than the amount of juice The clarity of water is greater than that of juice The fraction of the population who smoke is greater than those who do not [smoke]

In these examples, less could could be substituted as an adverb not as an adjective, which I think is what is creating the confusion.

Comments?

gmatclubot

Re: Grammar Greater vs. More
[#permalink]
17 Apr 2008, 10:11

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