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The consumer on an indifference curve is willing to sacrifice less and lesser of good y to get an additional unit of good x.

This is an answer I got from a model answer paper while preparing for economics exam..my question is...is the use of "less and lesser" here, grammatically correct?

  • In normal usage, the word less means a smaller amount or quantity. The word lesser means of reduced value, something which is not as good. So "less apples" means "apples, but not as many", and "lesser apples" means "apples, but of inferior quality." – asfallows Jan 10 '14 at 18:29
  • @asfallows: Your first sentence is right. Unfortunately your example is not. 'Not as many apples' refers to a smaller number, not amount or quantity, and is therefore expressed as fewer apples. – Tim Lymington supports Monica Jan 17 '14 at 15:38
  • @TimLymington I'm confused by your comment. 'not as many' had the same meaning as 'fewer'. Both phrases are used to refer to a reduction in quantity, number, or amount. I don't understand the distinction you are drawing between number and quantity/amount – asfallows Jan 17 '14 at 16:19
  • @asfallows: Simply, fewer refers to number (so fewer apples), while less refers to amount (so put less apple in in a recipe would refer to a smaller weight of apple puree or chopped apple). *Fewer beer and *less hours are both wrong in normal speech. – Tim Lymington supports Monica Jan 17 '14 at 16:39
  • Oh, yes, I see your point and I agree; I misunderstood what you were talking about in the earlier comment. – asfallows Jan 17 '14 at 16:54
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No. It is not correct.

The consumer on an indifference curve is willing to sacrifice less and less of commodity y to get an additional unit of commodity x.

is a better sentence in my opinion

There are no such expressions as less and lesser or lesser and lesser

The correct expression is less and less.

Also first time I have ever seen goods in singular. However it does exist in economics it seems. Note that the word good is not used in the description except once:

In economics, a good is a material that satisfies human wants and provides utility, for example, to a consumer making a purchase. A common distinction is made between 'goods' that are tangible property (also called goods) and services, which are non-physical. Commodities may be used as a synonym for economic goods but often refer to marketable raw materials and primary products.

Lastly (before your edit) I would expect on an indifference curve

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