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I believe I am correct in saying that the example sentence below is incorrect because of the word that I have written in capitals. Below this, I have written how the sentence should be correctly written - which contains the correct replacement for the incorrect word, again in capitals - but can anybody tell me WHY it has to be said like the second sentence and not the first? Is there a specific grammatical reason for this? "Lazio earn LOWER than 50% as much as Barcelona" "Lazio earn LESS than 50% as much as Barcelona" As far as I can see, both "lower" and "less" are comparitive forms of the adjectives "low" and "few" respectively. Am I even correct in saying this? (NB After having written out this question it has actually occured to me that the answer may have to do with the word "percent" being usually written out as a SINGULAR noun, rather than plural. We say "50 percent" but we MEAN "50 percents"; so in effect, it would appear that we are using a number to describe a 'quality' of a single thing - rather than to say HOW MANY of those single things we have. I suppose this is similar to the way that we talk about the age of a human being: we say "I am 50/ She is 32" etc, not "I have 50 years" or something like that. We can use a word like "low" to describe a quality of a single thing; but we use the word "few" to describe how many of a certain thing we have - similar to the different possible uses for a number, like "50". Therefore, it follow that we don't use "lower" in the example sentence - since we are talking about the NUMBER OF percents - we use "fewer". Am I on the right track with this?....Please help if you can.
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Comments  
Hmm.

"lower than ... as much as" is ungrammatical regardless of the "50%" part, so I don't think your explanation is very relevant to the question you ask.

In any case, "50%" is not normally considered to be composed of countable "percents": we say "fewer than 50% of the people" yet "less than 50% of the profit", so the "fewer"/"less" (i.e. countable/uncountable) distinction depends on what it's 50% of, not the fact that it's 50%.

"less" is not a comparative form of "few"; it can be considered a comparative form of "little", but I'm not sure how much that helps in this instance.
AnonymousLazio earns LOWER LESS than 50% as much as Barcelona.
Leave out the 50%. The 50% has nothing to do with the problem.

Are you aware that "earns a lot" means "makes a lot of money at his job"?
Some students confuse earning money with winning athletic games.

CJ
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CalifJim
AnonymousLazio earns LOWER LESS than 50% as much as Barcelona.

However, "earn" is OK in British English.
Mr WordyHowever, "earn" is OK in British English.
Gosh, that's right. I made that "correction" when I was still puzzled about the referents. I thought for the longest time that Lazio was a person and Barcelona was a person. Strange, I thought. Then it occurred to me that these might be teams. Then it occurred to me that it had to do with football. Then it occurred to me that the poster was actually trying to say that Lazio's scores are lower than Barcelona's 50% of the time, in which case lower isn't so wrong after all. I was left so puzzled I should have just refrained from answering at all.

CJ
CalifJimThen it occurred to me that the poster was actually trying to say that Lazio's scores are lower than Barcelona's 50% of the time,

Oh. I thought he/she was talking about the clubs' incomes (Barcelona are a very rich club).
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In California I'm practically on the other side of the globe, so I don't follow European sports. I yield to your opinion on the matter!

CJ
Hi! It's the original poster here (my name's Stuart btw) Just wanted to state that I was indeed referring to the football/soccer teams Lazio and Barcelona, and how much MONEY they earn, so CJ you were correct in your initial answer. Thank you to you and everybody else who responded to my question. I got myself in a bit of a muddle over it, and I am supposed to be an EFL Teacher!! Oh well... As another poster stated, I believe it is OK to use something like 'Lazio earn' in British English, when Lazio etc is a team of some sort (I am from Britain btw).
You are right I believe Mr Wordy. Latzio is a football team as well as Barcelona to my knowledge. I know nothing about football, nor do I wish to. Cricket and Rugby are more my style ( sorry CJ - I doubt you see either). (Rugby is a bit like what you refer to as football only without all the pads).
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