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With a total population of less than two hundred and fewer

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Senior Manager
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With a total population of less than two hundred and fewer [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2005, 11:42
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A
B
C
D
E

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With a total population of less than two hundred and fewer breeding females than ever before, the American crocodile seemed a decade ago to be in danger of disappearing.

(A) of less than two hundred and fewer
(B) lower than two hundred and less
(C) lesser than two hundred and fewer
(D) fewer than two hundred and less
(E) of fewer than two hundred and of fewer

Less is used for items that you can't count, e.g., amount, whereas fewer is used for items that you can count, e.g., number. With this in mind, I'm going with the first choice.

I was teetering between whether population was or was not countable since a population is tied to a number. I finally came up with this - if you can say "one population, two population..." then the item is countable and "less" can be used. Since you obviously can't do that for population, it is considered not countable. On the contrary, you can say "one breeding female, two breeding female..." so breeding females is countable and "fewer" can be used.

Does this approach sound correct?
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2005, 12:04
I would pick "A".
My reasoning is that population is noncountable so use less and breeding female is countable so use fewer.

-nakib
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2005, 12:20
Also A but for a different reason. Less than is a simple mathematical term. Fewer than implies a shift; fewer than a previous level. Not sure if that makes sense but A seems right to me.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2005, 15:04
OA is A.

Thanks for the input. At least I know my approach wasn't way off.
  [#permalink] 08 Sep 2005, 15:04
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With a total population of less than two hundred and fewer

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