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Is using very less correct English? My friend suggests it should be very little. Are they both correct, or is there a difference?

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You need to up the ante and say "very least" ... ^_^ –  Robusto Aug 17 '11 at 0:37
    
...at the very least? ;-P –  Randolf Richardson Aug 17 '11 at 1:10
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People in India use it all the time. There it is common to say "very less" when they mean "very little". –  user26829 Oct 3 '12 at 5:42
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The idiomatic phrase very less is prevalent in neither AmE nor BrE, but is essentially a regionalism seen in the Indian subcontinent and probably in some other countries. –  Kris Oct 3 '12 at 7:42
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3 Answers

up vote 18 down vote accepted

"Very less" is incorrect. "Very little" or "much less" would be possible alternatives.

Some examples of how both phrases could be used:

I paid very little for this jacket. I paid $500 for this jacket in March; today I could buy it for much less.

I have very little money. I have much less money today then I did on Monday.

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+1 good examples –  FumbleFingers Aug 17 '11 at 0:57
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+1. Short, sweet, accurate, and exactly appropriate. –  PLL Aug 17 '11 at 2:53
    
"I could not signal the chopper from my life raft because I had no flare gun. That's right, I was lost at sea Very less!" Very gun: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flare_gun –  Wayfaring Stranger Apr 14 at 0:44
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'very less' isn't correct. It depends on exactly what you're trying to say though.

'very little' implies a completely different meaning. If there is very little of something, it means a very small number. Whereas 'very less' (although wrong) implies that it is less than something else, or less than it was before.

far less

or

much fewer

Is probably clearer

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Note that far fewer and much less also work. But people don't usually use very with less or fewer. –  Peter Shor Aug 17 '11 at 13:41
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Your friend is right -- "very little" is correct. I've never seen "very less" used anywhere, and it feels awkward to me.

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There are many usages of 'very less' in the web. But everything I checked points to a post from an Indian. :) So I guess it's an indian thing. Will try to avoid it in future. –  chitti Aug 17 '11 at 0:14
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