"Umíš míň anglických slov než moje malá sestra."

Translation:You know fewer English words than my little sister.

August 20, 2018

This discussion is locked.


Why is 'less' in place of 'fewer' not allowed here. I have reported it in case.


Sometimes is hard to say when the usage, which is against widespread grammatical rules (https://www.grammarly.com/blog/fewer-vs-less/), should be accepted is used enogh and when it should be considered an unacceptable (for a language course) colloquialism.


"You can speak less english words" is not correct...?


No, because “words” is a countable noun—you can count words one by one. It's not a mass noun without individual entities (like “water”) which you could count. Hence the word “fewer”.


I understand your dilemma and the fact that the teachers on this course are probably not teachers mor are thetvnative enlish speakers. I find the information you sent me helpful but i wouldn't accept it as Fowlers doesnt make this distinction. Thank you for all your efforts. Fowlers was the bible for correct english


(please keep the discussion in a thread by using Reply)

Actually, I knew I knew I have read more about it before, but I always forget the details. There is, for example, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fewer_vs._less which I must have seen before. I will check more sentences of the course to see what is accepted elsewhere.

BTW I always thought the Bible was Strunk and White. They wrote: "Less. Should not be misused for fewer. Less refers to quantity, fewer to number. "

Accepted now.


Thanks vladafu. In my studies and usage of english for writing textbooks fifteen years ago i was always referred to fowler's modern english usage. Strunk and White was used but not with the same authority as Fowler's. To be honest I am not really interested in learning English as i have been using it for 70 odd years but I do appreciate your help with Czech which is a challenge for me as I have two granddaughters in Czechia who both speak Czech and English


I tried looking up 'míň' online but couldn't find anything...


Can other Czech words for "know" be used in this context, i.e. when it means an item of knowledge rather than having a skill?


You mean the Czech ones? You can use znáš, perhaps ovládáš (but that is for a skill).


What is triggering the genitive case in “anglických slov” — the adverb “míň” rather than the verb? So, something like “fewer (of) English words”?


Yes, the adverb. All expressions of quantity (other than 1,2,3,4) require the genitive:

  • jedno anglické slovo
  • dvě, tři, čtyři anglická slova
  • pět, šest, deset, sto, mnoho, několik, málo, méně/míň, více/víc anglických slov (etc.)
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