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Lesser

English translation: One rule of thumb that may be helpful is that 'lesser' applies especially to ...

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14:00 Jan 4, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Linguistics / Grammar
English term or phrase: Lesser
Please, I want to know if there is a word 'lesser' in English. And How can I use it. I mean if you can put it in sentences, /i will be thankfull.
Rana*
English translation:One rule of thumb that may be helpful is that 'lesser' applies especially to ...
Explanation:
matters of quality, worth or significance, and is opposed to 'greater' or 'major':
"God made the lesser light to rule the night."
"the Lesser Dog": Csnis Minor

On the other hand, 'less' applies to matters of degree, value or amount, and is opposed to 'more'.

Birds were mentioned, but lesser is also used to apply to flowers (lesser celandine) and insects (lesser corn borer).



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Note added at 2003-01-04 14:36:47 (GMT)
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And geographical names, e.g., the Lesser Antilles.

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Note added at 2003-01-04 18:56:15 (GMT) Post-grading
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Canis Minor, sorry.
Selected response from:

Refugio
Local time: 02:16
Grading comment
Now I get it. Thank you very much Ruth.It is very helpful. And thanks to everyone.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5yes, there is a "lesser"
swisstell
5 +3One rule of thumb that may be helpful is that 'lesser' applies especially to ...Refugio
5 +2used primarily in formally established expressions
Hermeneutica
4 +1the less prominent / the less important / the smaller / the younger
Elisabeth Ghysels


  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
yes, there is a "lesser"


Explanation:
e.g. the lesser of two evils



swisstell
Italy
Local time: 11:16
Native speaker of: German
PRO pts in category: 7

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Peter Coles: It's not used a lot, and I suspect that statistically usage is dominanted by the specific example, "the lesser of two evils", that you've given.
9 mins
  -> tks. (dominanted?)

agree  Sarah Ponting: "A comparative of little: 1. Smaller in amount, value, or importance, especially in a comparison between two things: chose the lesser evil. 2. Of a smaller size than other, similar forms: the lesser anteater. TheAmerican Heritage Dic. of the English Lang.
14 mins

agree  writeaway: lesser extent,lesser mortals,lesser sum of money,lesser offence,lesser known,of lesser intelligence, etc.
27 mins

agree  Marie Scarano
28 mins

agree  yeswhere: with Sarah: little, lesser, least. Wish I were in the Lesser Antilles right now!
42 mins
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
the less prominent / the less important / the smaller / the younger


Explanation:
and similar.

For instance: the lesser birds of paradise.

Greetings,

Nikolaus


    Reference: http://www.lesserbirds.com/
    Reference: http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintj10.htm
Elisabeth Ghysels
Local time: 11:16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marie Scarano
26 mins
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16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
used primarily in formally established expressions


Explanation:
The other two examples given are good ones ... one is a saying, the other one refers to bird names, there is also, for example, the lesser crested tern, or lesser crested grebe. There is something called a Lesser Public License, for openware software.

You could go to www.google.com and look for the search feature, or go directly to
http://www.google.com/advanced_search?safe=images&as_occt=an...

and enter "lesser" and then see what kinds of things you get ... all the ones mentioned here, plus items where "Lesser" is a surname, etc. That will certainly tell you a lot about usage.

Generally, though, it is not frequently used in everyday language; since you won't need to use it very often, the chances that you will use it incorrectly are also very small. [Personally I don't remember when I last used it except in "the lesser of two evils" or in a bird name].

Best of luck

Dee

Hermeneutica
Switzerland
Local time: 11:16
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Chris Rowson
16 mins

agree  Marie Scarano
18 mins
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33 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
One rule of thumb that may be helpful is that 'lesser' applies especially to ...


Explanation:
matters of quality, worth or significance, and is opposed to 'greater' or 'major':
"God made the lesser light to rule the night."
"the Lesser Dog": Csnis Minor

On the other hand, 'less' applies to matters of degree, value or amount, and is opposed to 'more'.

Birds were mentioned, but lesser is also used to apply to flowers (lesser celandine) and insects (lesser corn borer).



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-04 14:36:47 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

And geographical names, e.g., the Lesser Antilles.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-01-04 18:56:15 (GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

Canis Minor, sorry.

Refugio
Local time: 02:16
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 35
Grading comment
Now I get it. Thank you very much Ruth.It is very helpful. And thanks to everyone.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marie Scarano
1 min
  -> Thanks Marie

agree  Patricia CASEY
8 mins

agree  mónica alfonso
4 hrs
  -> Thanks to all.
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