I have a question regarding less than me and some colleges are bumping heads in trying to figure out a sentence.

The Sentence is: The required words should not be less than 5.

So what will the minimum words be that is required? 5 or 6

Or what would be the correct phrase to use in a situation when prompting a user for minimum length required?

Thanks you.

closed as off-topic by GoldenGremlin, Phil Sweet, user66974, Nathaniel, AndyT Aug 9 '16 at 16:14

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  • 1
    "The required words should be less than 5" is not clear. It could mean that they must contain at least 5 letters, or that there has to be 5 or more words in your answer. Either way, "not less than 5" means "5 or more", so 5, 6, 7 etc. – MorganFR Jul 27 '16 at 13:04
  • It is a requirement that there should be a minimum of 6 words that needs to be entered into our program – Ockert Nel Jul 27 '16 at 13:06
  • Then you can use: "The number of words required should be 6 or more/at least 6" (my personal favorite) or "The number of words required should be more than 5" or "The number of words required should not be less than 6" (my least favorite). Of course, there are other ways to say it, using "minimum" for instance. The sentence you used in your comment is perfectly valid. – MorganFR Jul 27 '16 at 13:09
  • I am voting to migrate this question the Learners platform as it is about basic understanding of the language. ell.stackexchange.com – Helmar Jul 27 '16 at 13:24


The required words should not be less than 5

The required words should NOT be "<5"

The required words should be ">=5" (taking the negation)

At least 5 words are required.

Hence, the minimum no. of words is 5.

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