The use of the words ‘amount’ when it should be ‘number’ and ‘less’ when it should be ‘fewer’, and vice versa, is heard far too frequently nowadays, particularly by television personalities and presenters.

Amount = How much, or less than.

Number = How many, or fewer than.

How much sugar would you like in your tea?

Three teaspoons please, but less sugar and fewer calories would be healthier.

How many sugar lumps do you like in a cappuccino, and would you like cocoa on top?

Three lumps please and just a small amount of cocoa.

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