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I am comparing two qualities of some countries quantitatively from this figure.

enter image description here

which sentence is correct or maybe both wrong?

(1) Other countries’ figures were around a quarter or less than those of the USA’s.

(1) Other countries’ figures were around a quarter of or less than those of the USA’s.

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Both sentences are wrong, because "or less" attaches to "a quarter" and should not connect directly with "those of the USA" (the genitive case is also wrong because you already have an "of"-phrase).

You can say:

  • X figures were a quarter of Y figures.
  • X figures were less than Y figures.

Considering that "a quarter or less" forms a unit, you could say:

(1) Other contries' figures were around a quarter or less of those of the USA.

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  • This sounds much better if percentagespeak is used instead: Other countries' figures were around 25% or less of those of the USA. Dec 8 '19 at 22:59
  • @EdwinAshworth You are right. In my mind I compared it to "half of", but "or less" does interrupt the liaison between the partitive and the whole.
    – Gustavson
    Dec 8 '19 at 23:01
  • a) Other countries figures were around a quarter of that of the USA. b) Other countries figures were less than that of the USA. These two combined make: Other countries’ figures were around a quarter or less than those of the USA. Besides, Do we have, in similar situations, to distinguish between those of and that of? I think ‘that of’ should take care even when it is plural.
    – Ram Pillai
    Dec 9 '19 at 12:41
  • @RamPillai This assertion: These two combined make: Other countries’ figures were around a quarter or less than those of the USA is wrong for the reasons stated in my answer.
    – Gustavson
    Dec 9 '19 at 13:25

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