# Fewer in Math

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## What Does Fewer Mean in Math?

Fewer means a smaller quantity or amount.

In math, it means a lesser value. We can use fewer to compare different numbers and express that one number is lesser than another.

## Definition of Fewer in Math

The definition of fewer in math is a smaller number of anything. For example, fewer students attended class today, I have fewer books than her,  fewer dollar coins are required for this toy, etc.

## Similarity between Fewer and Lesser

Both fewer and lesser refer to a smaller amount.

We generally use “fewer” when referring to countable things. For example, we say fewer people, dogs, and books.

On the other hand, we use lesser to describe quantities or items that are not counted individually. For example, we say less sugar, money, or heat.

Less is used with singular or mass nouns, such as flour. We also use less to describe an amount of something in a plural noun, such as money or time. For example, less than 5 hours or 5 dollars.

## What Is the Symbol for Fewer?

The symbol used for fewer is <, which means that a number is lesser than another number.

The symbol > means a number is greater than another number.

For example, 6 < 10 shows that 6 is less than 10. This indicates that 6 is a smaller number than 10.

Fewer is normally used to describe countable objects or items.

It is an adjective because it is used to describe the quality of a noun and convey something about that noun to us. It is a comparative word because it compares one quantity to another quantity and indicates which of the two quantities is the smaller of the two. While the definition of few means more than one, it is often used to refer to three or more things. This is because when we refer to two things, we usually say “a couple.” So when we say “a few,” we are usually referring to three or more things.

## What Is “No Fewer Than”?

“No fewer than” means at least. It is used to describe a minimum number or quantity of things. It is often used to refer to a quantity that is quite large. For example, no fewer than 400 people attended the event.

## How Do We Use Fewer in a Sentence?

Here are some ways to use fewer in a sentence:

• There are fewer birds than there used to be.
• There are fewer students in class today than there were yesterday.
• She has fewer clothes than her sister.
• He has fewer chocolates than his friend.
• Fewer than six people attended the show.
• No fewer than 500 guests were present at the dinner party.

## Conclusion

Fewer is a concept that helps us understand one quantity with respect to the other. It helps us compare the number of countable objects and express that one amount is less than another. Using fewer in math also tells us when one number is less than another!

## Solved Examples

1. Express this sentence using the fewer than symbol: 5 is less than 11.

Solution: The symbol of fewer or less than is <, so we write it as 5 < 11.

2. Express this using the greater than symbol: 15 is greater than 9.

Solution: The symbol > means a number is greater than another number. So, we write it as 15 > 9.

3. If there are 5 pencils and 10 pens, how would we express that there is a smaller quantity of pencils than pens?

Solution: We use fewer to describe countable objects. If there are 5 pencils and 10 pens, we express it as: there are fewer pencils than pens.

4. If there is a smaller quantity of salt, how do we express it?

Solution: We use less to describe mass nouns that are not countable individually. So we say that there is less salt.

5. What does this mean: “No fewer than 300 seats were set out in the hall”?Solution: We use no fewer than to mean at least, indicating that there were more than a certain number. So no fewer than 300 seats means that there were at least 300 seats set out in the hall.

## Practice Problems

1

### Which of the following tells us that 10 is less than 16?

$10 \gt 16$
$10 | 16$
$10 \lt 16$
$10 = 16$
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: $10 \lt 16$
Since the less than sign is $\lt$, we write it as $10 \lt 16$.
2

### Which of the following is the correct way to express that there is a smaller number of cats than dogs?

There are no less cats than dogs
There are fewer cats than dogs
There are more cats than dogs
There are no fewer cats than dogs
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: There are fewer cats than dogs
We use “fewer” to compare quantities where one is less or smaller than the other.
3

### How would we express that there is a “small amount of time”?

There is lesser time
There is few time
There is fewer time
There is less time
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: There is less time
We use less to describe mass nouns that are not countable individually. So, we say that there is less time.
4

### If 305 people attend an event, how do we express it using the word $''fewer''$ and the number 300?

No fewer than 300 people
Fewer than 300 people
Fewer 300 people
300 people fewer
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: No fewer than 300 people
We use no fewer than to express a quantity with reference to a certain number to say there is at least or more than a certain number. So we write it as: no fewer than 300 people attended the event.
5

### Express this sentence using the comparison symbol: 14 is greater than 7.

$14 \gt 7$
$7 | 14$
$14 \lt 7$
$14 = 7$
CorrectIncorrect
Correct answer is: $14 \gt 7$
Since the greater than sign is $\gt$, we write it as $14 \gt 7$.