There is a question in our grammar book that goes like this:

Her husband, a plumber's assistant, earns only 300 dollars a month, which makes it very difficult for her to feed and clothe her children properly, ______________ send them to school.

a. much more
b. still more
c. much less
d. even less

The book says that the answer is C. How do i explain it in the clearest way possible to my student? She is an intermediate level.

  • Understand that "much less", in this sense, is an idiom. "Much more" is not used in the same way.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 27, 2019 at 11:47

1 Answer 1


Meaning of much less is not to mention —used especially in negative contexts to add to one item another denoting something less likely.

for example

Much Less: After spraining his ankle, the gymnast hadn't been expected to appear in today's event, much less win it.

Much More: People are getting about much more than they used to.

  • Thank you for the answer. Can you give me another example ? but this time, using "much more". I will use it as an example to my student, for contrast between much less and much more..
    – Rey Na Lyn
    Jun 27, 2019 at 6:19
  • I had updated my answer, pls check & accept if you find it is correct one. Jun 27, 2019 at 6:44
  • None of the four choices is correct. "Much less" would be correct if the sentence were changed to read "she can't feed and clothe her children properly, much less send them" or "she can hardly feed and clothe them properly, much less send them." For the sentence as given, "still more" is the correct choice, meaning "still more difficult". If it weren't multiple choice, I'd fill in the blank with "let alone".
    – bof
    Jun 27, 2019 at 6:54
  • Sanjay's example doesn't include much more! It would not be used in a sentence of this kind in modern English, though I can think of an example in 17th century poetry. Jun 27, 2019 at 8:47
  • Kate pls check now Jun 27, 2019 at 9:05

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