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April 28, 2018


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"Some grammarians recommend to use least only with uncountable nouns" https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/least

Lowest the superlative of low which can be used to describe countable nouns/numbers,but least is the superlative of less!!

number can be small or low(lowest), but can't be little(least)
As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, minimum is a quantitative representation of the smallest amount needed; thus, making it suitable for math and the term minimum angle.

Do you guys have any links or rules how to write complex sentences??

I need more complex sentences to add in my writing task 2.

There's a good explanation of "minimum", both as a noun, and as an adjective here:

Which suggests that "minumum" as an adjective denotes the lowest bound, not the smallest item in a series or group.

"The least number of" is actually more frequently used than "the lowest number of" on Google books, with sentences like: this group had the least number of children. "The lesser number" also crops up.


In my view, it is best to concentrate and focus on the content and "develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples." In many Task 2 questions it is a good idea to consider different viewpoints - possibly stepping outside your own culture and values, or looking at the topic from various angles, where this helps to directly answer the question.

That said, it is also helpful to have a sound familiarity with methods of indicating your position via concession, such as starting your paragraph or sentence with "That said".

Below is a well-researched link which covers how to concede a point in English in great depth. Frankly, I suggest you just get to grips with "although", "while", and "whereas", and make sure you can get the meaning, usage and grammar correct. The rest you may come across in your reading, but with only fifteen or so sentences in Task 2, there is no need for more: far better to use something simple correctly than mess up trying for more exotic language.



Simon also has material on this:






not forgetting the importance of topic specific vocabulary of course...

A lot of thanks @Oleg



Maybe I'm more of a traditional 'grammarian' than I thought!

I see the word 'least' as the superlative of 'little' (little, less, least). I wouldn't say "a little number of attendances", so I don't really like "the least number of attendances".

The link that DaNang shared (see below) explains this traditional view:


However, I accept that usage changes, and it's interesting that "the least number of" is so commonly used. Maybe I'll have to change my view on this!



The 'minimum' number is the 'lowest possible number' or the 'lowest number needed or permitted'. For example:

- The minimum number of people for a group booking is 10.

In the sentence in the lesson above, 'minimum' would be grammatically correct, but its meaning wouldn't make sense in this context.

Hi Simon,

In my opinion, if we need to describe to numbers we need to use lowest.

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