Which one is grammatically correct or idiomatic?

  1. I watch less/more TV than you.

  2. I watch TV less/more than you.

  1. I have less/more money than you.

  2. I have money less/more than you.

  • 3
    1: Fine. 2: Fine. 3: Fine. 4: Said nobody ever.
    – Robusto
    Feb 25, 2015 at 14:21
  • 4
    Good question. Robusto and Centaurus agree on the basic answer (and I with them), but that leaves the why: why is 2 all right and 4 not? Both are using "less/more than you" to modify the main verb (where in 1 and 3 "less/more" modifies the verb's direct object). Money and TV are both being treated as quantifiable mass nouns in 1 and 3. I suspect that the difference is that "TV" has idiomatically come to complement the verb "watch" otherwise than as its direct object, and the same is not true of "money" with "have"--not yet. Feb 25, 2015 at 14:47
  • 1
    @Brian: I think it has more to do with the verb have. I swim less than you, eat less than you, read less than you, etc. are all fine. But "I have less than you" is functionally and semantically different.
    – Robusto
    Feb 25, 2015 at 14:54
  • 1
    @Murat: Semantic difference there too. For example, "I drink less beer than you" has a slightly different meaning from "I drink beer less than you."
    – Robusto
    Feb 25, 2015 at 15:05
  • 1
    @Murat Idioms are never ungrammatical. If their grammar is unusual, they are extragrammatical. English is defined by usage, not 70-year-old books listing rules dubious even at the time they were written. Feb 25, 2015 at 19:08

3 Answers 3


You can say either:

  • I've got money, more than you (do).
  • I've got more money than you (do).

  • I watch TV, more than you (do).

  • I watch more TV than you (do).

"I have money less..." is non-idiomatic and I don't think you'll hear someone saying it.

  • Thank you.Can we say that both 1 and 3 are grammatically correct but 2 is only idiomatic and less/more comes before nouns in this kind of sentences.
    – Mrt
    Feb 25, 2015 at 14:35
  • @Murat I would use 1 and 3, and would avoid the "money less..." structure, which sounds ungrammatical and wrong.
    – Centaurus
    Feb 25, 2015 at 14:37
  • 2
    I'm not convinced "I have money less..." is ungrammatical. Granted, it's non-idiomatic, because we don't normally think in terms of how often one might "have money". But I can't see any "grammatical" argument that would allow "I have infections less [often] than you" whilst debarring the same construction with money (I'm sure the fact that money is "uncountable" isn't relevant). Feb 25, 2015 at 16:58
  • If the meaning is: I have money less [often] than you, then it would be just as sensible as I have infections less than you. But we assume more and less always refers to amount in connection with money (because it usually does :-) In 3. less is a determiner modifying money, but in 1., 2. & 4., less is an adverb modifying watch TV (a verb phrase) or have in the comparative phrase less than you. You can't have anything to a smaller extent (you either have it or you don't), so "smaller extent" is frequency, which we don't intuitively apply to having money.
    – ScotM
    Feb 26, 2015 at 6:12

The first is grammatically correct.

The second is idiomatically omitting the word "often".

I watch TV less [often] than you.

  • What about 3 and 4?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 25, 2015 at 16:48

I think this is more natural to native speakers:

  • I watch TV less [often] than you do.
  • I don't watch as much TV as you do.

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