what is wrong with this sentence
There are little tigers remaining in the world.
'Little' is the wrong adjective to use in this context, unless you are talking about baby tigers. Little means small in size. The correct word is 'few'. Use 'few' when you refer to the number of a countable noun like 'tiger'. You would use 'less' to refer to the amount of an uncountable noun like 'water'.
There are few tigers remaining in the world.
|link comment||answered Feb 01 '13 at 14:31 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow|
I mostly agree with Lewis, especially about few tigers being correct as opposed to little tigers in the sentence, but it is not correct to advise using less with uncountable nouns to express the same meaning as few + countable noun. In fact little + uncountable noun is correct, and corresponds to few + countable noun.
Less + (countable or uncountable) noun is always a comparative expression. I have less friends than you do. He makes less money than his wife does.
The difference between a few and a little on the one hand (meaning a small quantity or number), and few and little on the other (meaning an insufficient quantity or number) is often over-taught in ESL curricula. In fact, at least in Canadian English, few and little meaning 'insufficient' is rarely used anymore. These words are quite old-fashioned. We tend to use other expressions to say the same thing:
Instead of saying He has few friends, it is much, much more natural to say He doesn't have many/enough friends.
Instead of saying I have little bread, it is much, much more natural to say I don't have much/enough bread.
I hope this helps.
|link comment||edited Feb 01 '13 at 15:47 Shawn Mooney Expert|
Hero of the day
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