"The angle is less than ninety degrees."
Translation:Η γωνία είναι λιγότερο από ενενήντα μοίρες.
I wonder if the distinction is akin to that in English between ´less´ and ´fewer´. Strictly speaking, you use ´fewer´ for something that can be counted, item by item, and´less´ for something continuous. But ultimately I suppose ´λιγότερο από' is just an idiom in Greek. Ευχαριστώ for the interesting discussion.
Is not ´λιγότερο/η' a predicate of ´γωνία' here? Should it not agree in gender as ´λιγότερη' - ?
"Λιγότερο" doesn't have anything to do with "angle", the word pertains to the degrees of the angle. I'm giving 2 examples:
"Don't you have less sugar?"=Δεν έχεις/έχετε λιγότερη ζάχαρη;" (It's about quantity here, with direct reference to sugar)
"This sugar is less sweet than the other one"="Αυτή η ζάχαρη είναι λιγότερο γλυκιά από την άλλη." (It's about sweetness and the word accompanies the adjective "γλυκιά")
G.Georgopoulos - Thank you for responding, but I'm still confused. What part of speech is ´λιγότερο' here - an adverb modifying ´ενενήντα' as an adjective, as per your second example? If it´s an adjective modifying ´μοίρες', should it not agree with ´μοίρες'?
Let's approach this in a different way. First things first: The sentence in this exercise is accepted in oral speech (I would express it like this, too), but it is poorly formed as far as the written language is concerned. The correct way of writing this would be:
"Η γωνία είναι μικρότερη από ενενήντα μοίρες".
Degrees determine the size of an angle. Same goes for kph/mph, for example, which determine the magnitude of the velocity of an object. Let's see another example of this kind:
"Η ταχύτητα είναι λιγότερο από 50 χιλιόμετρα/ώρα."="The speed/velocity is less that 50 kph." (Common in oral speech)
"Η ταχύτητα είναι μικρότερη από 50 χιλιόμετρα την ώρα" (Same translation, but properly structured)
Bear in mind that the antonym of "λιγότερος" is "περισσότερος" and the antonym of "μικρότερος" is "μεγαλύτερος".
Some examples with "λιγότερος/περισσότερος":
"Χρειάζεσαι περισσότερο καφέ;"="Do you need more coffee?" (Technically, more grains of coffee)
"Θέλουμε περισσότερους/λιγότερους παίκτες."="We need fewer/more players"
It helps if you consider that those are quantities that can practically be measured directly, by means of using the quantities per se, whereas an angle depends on the number of its degrees and speed is dependent on the rate of change of the position of an object. Think of the coffee and players as tangible, physical objects compared to angles and velocity.
"Λιγότερο" could actually agree with "μοίρες", but, in that case, the sentence would read:
"Η γωνία έχει λιγότερες από ενενήντα μοίρες"
"Λιγότερο από" is a comparative adverb, but, to me, at least, its function in the sentence is kind of obscure.
I hope this helps. If you have any further questions, ask ;)