Less vs Lesser

Type your word here
Try:

What’s the difference between them?

Less

Meaning:

having a smaller amount; not as much.

Examples:

1. There is less pollution in the city since the factory closed.

2. With less sleep, she was more tired than usual.

3. He was able to save money by buying the less expensive option.

Lesser

Meaning:

adjective that shows that something isn't as important as other thing.

Examples:

1. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

2. The lesser-known artist made a name for himself with his unique style.

3. With the lesser amount of rainfall, the farmers had to find other ways to irrigate their crops.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Less

1. Diminish

2. Decrease

3. Subside

4. Dwindle

5. Diminutive

1. More

2. Greater

3. Extra

4. Increase

5. Boost

Lesser

1. Diminutive

2. Inferior

3. Minor

4. Reduced

5. Subordinate

1. Greater

2. More

3. Bigger

4. Increased

5. Amplified

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Less", "Lesser".

1. 'Less' is a comparative form of the word 'little' that is used to indicate a lesser amount or degree of something.

2. 'Lesser', on the other hand, is an adjective that is used to compare two or more things in terms of size, degree, importance, or value.

3. Remember that 'less' is used to compare two or more things in terms of size, degree, importance, or value, while 'lesser' is used to indicate a lesser amount or degree of something.

4. If you are unsure which word to use, try replacing it with 'little'; if 'little' is appropriate, then use 'less'.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word be used?

When making comparisons, 'less' should be used to describe a smaller amount or degree. For example, 'She ate less than she did yesterday.'

When is the appropriate context for using the second word?

'Lesser' should be used to compare two items or groups of items and describe which option is of lesser importance. For example, 'She chose the lesser of two evils.'

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words do not share the same pronunciation. 'Less' is pronounced /les/, while 'lesser' is pronounced /lesər/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

A common mistake people make when using these words is using 'less' when 'lesser' should be used in comparison. For example, saying 'She chose the less of two evils' instead of 'She chose the lesser of two evils.'

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The two sides had to find a way to compromise or the consequences would be _________ than expected.

2. We should be able to accomplish the task in _________ time than anticipated.

3. The _________ amount of rainfall this season caused crops to fail and prices to soar.

4. We need to take _________ risks if we hope to achieve success.

5. Of the two evils, always choose the _____.

6. As time goes by, I find myself with _____ patience for such nonsense.

1. Less

Explanation: The word less here indicates that the expected consequences will not be as bad as first anticipated, as opposed to the word more which would imply that the consequences would be worse than initially expected.

2. Less

Explanation: The word less here conveys that the task can be accomplished in a shorter time than initially thought, as opposed to the word more which would suggest that it will take more time than expected.

3. Lesser

Explanation: The word lesser is used here to indicate that there was a smaller amount of rainfall than usual, as opposed to the word greater which would suggest that there was more rainfall than normal.

4. Less

Explanation: The word less indicates that we should be taking risks that are more conservative, as opposed to the word more which would suggest that we should be taking more risks.

5. Lesser

Explanation: The phrase the lesser of two evils is a common idiom, meaning the option that is less undesirable of two poor choices.

6. Less

Explanation: Here, less is used as a comparative adjective to show a decrease in the quantity or degree of patience. The word lesser would not fit correctly in this context as lesser is typically not used before nouns to indicate quantity.

Get a gift by subscribing to our newsletter!

Download the PDF with a list of commonly confused words made as flashcards for comfortable learning.

List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.