Anonymous:
Hi,

Can you help me to use the following types of phrases correctly? I have hard time seeing the differences contextually.

borrowed phrases "less a need/less need' from a post in this forum:

less a need/clown/any countable noun?? vs. less of a need/clown/any countable noun?? vs. less need/suitable uncountable nouns??

more a need/clown/any countable noun?? vs. more of a need/clown/any countable noun?? vs. more need/suitable uncountable nouns??

much need/suitable uncountable nouns?? vs. much of need/suitable uncountable nouns??
Hmmm. You might have to quote specific sentences. I'm not sure what you're getting at.
In general, however, more and less operate the same way.
Here are a few examples.
This report has [more/less] importance than the other.
This student shows [more / less] anger than the other.
We'll need more creativity to solve this problem.
Let's use the new procedure. It creates less confusion.
_____
The stream is less (of) a river than a creek. = less like a river than like a creek
The storm was more (of) a hurricane than a tornado. = more like a hurricane than like a tornado
-- What were you eating? Was that a stew? -- No. I'd say it was more of a soup.
_____
not much is a common combination.
This is an easy problem. It won't take much creativity to solve it.
The doctors don't hold out much hope that the patient will survive.
Unfortunately, Henry's new job doesn't have much potential for advancement.
___
It wasn't much of a lake. It was more like a muddy pond. (It didn't have as many characteristics of a lake as might be expected.)
It wasn't much of a movie. It only lasted half an hour.
There wasn't much of a crowd at the demonstration. Only fifty people showed up.
_____
CJ
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Anonymous:
Thank you. I am going to give you give this response from Clive from a thread named "article sentence analyses'.

Hi,

From the article:

"We leave issues like spiritual discipline in the hands of the churches, so there's less of a need (or you could say 'less need') for us to handle these issues," Calvin spokesman Phil de Haan said.

I was more concerned whether or not I could use 'more a need' or 'less a need'? Are these possible?

Why do they have to be 'more need' or 'less need'? Here, need is being used as an uncountable noun.

Yes, I will accept these as set phrases: 'less of a need' and 'more of a need'; but how about these -- 'more a need' and 'less a need'? Are they good? Yes, but not in the above context. You'd need to say something like 'Sex is more a need than a choice'.

Best wishes again, Clive

Compare his response with the following part of your previous response:

The stream is less (of) a river than a creek. = less like a river than like a creek

The storm was more (of) a hurricane than a tornado. = more like a hurricane than like a tornado

-- What were you eating? Was that a stew? -- No. I'd say it was more of a soup

I think you used parentheses to indicate they are optional but as you can see from the last part of Clive's response, the word 'of' takes up specal importance in some sentences, wouldn't you say?? Why is that??
Anonymousthe word 'of' takes up specal importance in some sentences, wouldn't you say?? Why is that??
Clive's sentence can be structured the same as those examples I gave you.
Sex is more (of) a need than a choice. = more like a need than like a choice.
It is less (of) a need than a ... is fine.

__________________

As for the example from the article, the pattern is different because that example has no comparison.

There is less (of a) need for us to ... (no than). (There is less a need ... is not correct here. Note above that It is less a need than ... is OK because it's a comparison.)

______________
Summary: There are two different patterns with two different meanings.
Something is [more / less] (of) a P than a Q. = is more/less like a P than like a Q.
[We have / There is] [more / less] (of a) need for X to Y. (Nothing to do with something being more/less like a P than like a Q.)

CJ
P.S. Yes. When I place a word in parentheses, I mean that it may be included or omitted without any change of meaning.
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Anonymous:
Thank you, Jim

Sometimes, it surprises me to find how good your answer is.Emotion: smile
Anonymous:
thank you all so much. you are more of kind teachers than forum net pals.Emotion: smile
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