I’ve been grading writing assignments this week, and have seen the phrase “a large amount of people” many times. No. No. Please, no.
I can’t draw at all, so I’ve engaged the help of some clip art for this.
Here is a tree:
If I want to increment trees (have more of them) they are a discrete thing, so I need to have a larger NUMBER of them.
If I try to have a larger AMOUNT of trees, this happens:
Pretty horrible, isn’t it? Imagine this was people.
Maybe I don’t want 3 trees. Do I want LESS trees?
Uh, no. Sorry. Mr. Tree!
I want FEWER of these discrete objects.
There. That’s better
Because, I wouldn’t want less people, either.
So remember, unless you are writing a horror movie script, a greater number or fewer people. Save the more or less for things like money, flour and other stuff you can’t count out one by one.
Once again, grammar saves lives.