Under vs Less Than


Are both of these correct? Or only the second one?


  • You can get there in under 10 minutes.
  • You can get there in less than 10 minutes.
under less asked May 30 '13 at 21:35 Gianna New member

2 answers


Under means to be phyically beneath something else.  Of course, you can't physically be beneath a period of time.  In formal writing, it should be less than rather than under.  However, this doesn't seem like formal writing.  Informally or conversationally, many people will use under or over with time.  It is similar to the expression "under the wire" which means that you just made it in time.  For informal purposes, I find both to be acceptable. 

link comment edited May 31 '13 at 00:36 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

I'm not sure we always need to assume that written language requires a more formal (grammatically normative) register. I do agree, though, that the use of 'under' in this context is more colloquial. I would say use whichever blows your hair back, but do it under the radar when the purists are lurking!

link comment answered May 31 '13 at 12:33 Ahmad Barnard Expert

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