4

Consider these two sentences:

  1. One week is too little to observe a measurable weight loss.
  2. One week is too less to observe a measurable weight loss.

When I uttered (2) in casual speech, my friend corrected it to (1). I agreed: (1) sounded better. But is (2) grammatically incorrect?

Does thinking of "One week" as an uncountable quantity (time period) make a difference?

2
  • 1
    Too + adjective (too late/too much/too little) less is the comparative of the adjective little when referring to quantity. That is to say: little --> less ---> the least. We cannot say "too smaller" but we do say "too small".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 20, 2015 at 3:56
  • I think you neglected to say this means #2 is incorrect. Apr 20, 2015 at 4:20

3 Answers 3

5

The intensifier too cannot be used with comparative and superlative forms. Less is the comparative of little (irregular: little, less, the least) and therefore we cannot use it with too. You can say: much less, but that has a different meaning.

3

Too less is actually a very typical non-native mistake. Not sure of the rules behind it but "Too less" just doesn't work no matter where you use it.

0

No one uses

"is too less to observe"

at Google Books.

There are 8 instances of

"is too little to observe"

which makes it quite possible, and it is:

Review of the Electrical Communication Laboratory 1964 - ‎Snippet view

However, as is clear from Table 6, the content of vinyl chloride is too little to observe the change of stereoregularity.

This is of course in some grammar books (see "little" vs "less").

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