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A 10 item or less lane?



 
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A 10 item or less lane? #1 (permalink) Wed Mar 11, 2009 20:11 pm   A 10 item or less lane?
 

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #121 "Real Life: Grocery Stores (1)", question 3

In a busy grocery store, certain lanes are often designated for customers who only want to buy a small number of items. For example, there might be a 10 item or less ......... lane.

(a) small
(b) simple
(c) express
(d) less

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #121 "Real Life: Grocery Stores (1)", answer 3

In a busy grocery store, certain lanes are often designated for customers who only want to buy a small number of items. For example, there might be a 10 item or less express lane.

Correct answer: (c) express

Your answer was: incorrect
In a busy grocery store, certain lanes are often designated for customers who only want to buy a small number of items. For example, there might be a 10 item or less small lane.
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I don't understand the part of sentence: there might be a 10 item or less express lane.'' Please explain me this. why note: 10 items? what does,,less express lane'' mean? thanks a lot.
Saneta
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A 10 item or less lane? #2 (permalink) Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:51 am   A 10 item or less lane?
 

Hi,

This 'lane' through which you go to pay for what you have bought in the grocery store is for customers who have a maximum of 10 items in their basket/trolley.

Alan
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A 10 item or less lane? #3 (permalink) Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:33 am   A 10 item or less lane?
 

And by 'express lane' we mean 'rapid and efficient lane'.

In contrast, few lanes, for those who have got more than 10 items, cannot be called express as the billing of more items takes more time. And hence, those customers end up standing in the lane for a long.

Am I correct? :)
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A 10 item or less lane? #4 (permalink) Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:14 am   A 10 item or less lane?
 

So, in the denominator we are talking about: a 10 item lane, right?
Saneta
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A 10 item or less lane? #5 (permalink) Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:17 am   A 10 item or less lane?
 

Hi,

Sounds all right to me. By the way Gray, I assume you meant for a long time?

Alan
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A 10 item or less lane? #6 (permalink) Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:35 am   A 10 item or less lane?
 

Alan wrote:
Hi,

Sounds all right to me. By the way Gray, I assume you meant for a long time?

Alan

Yes, I meant 'for a long time', but does it mean 'for a long' is not a substitute for 'for a long time'?

I was misusing it for a long time then :)
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A 10 item or less lane? #7 (permalink) Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:37 am   A 10 item or less lane?
 

Hi Gray,

'For a long' is incomplete and so can't stand on its own.

Alan
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A 10 item or less lane? #8 (permalink) Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:19 am   A 10 item or less lane?
 

<quote>there might be a 10 item or less express lane</quote>

Is it also correct to say 'there might be a 10 items or fewer express lane.'?
I mean if they are both right depending on whether the speaker consider them as countable or non-countable?

Thanks in advance.
Ttg
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A 10 item or less lane? #9 (permalink) Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:45 am   A 10 item or less lane?
 

HA! This is why I LOVE language learners!!

You are absolutely correct that it should be "10 items or fewer" as items are naturally something that can be counted. This is one case where a grammatically incorrect form has become the traditional one.

Good Call!

---------------------------------------
This topic leads me to another thought. Aside from language, cash register etiquette is very different from country to country. In comparing places I've lived: In Poland and Mexico, people are very patient and have no problems waiting in line for a few minutes. In the UK they are very orderly and after a while it seems like forming into queues is somehow a genetically encoded trait. In the US, people are almost too friendly, with total strangers beginning casual conversations with you while you wait. And in Germany, checking out at a supermarket is more like a demolition derby with people using shopping carts as weapons and taking every opportunity possible to be first in line.
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A 10 item or less lane? #10 (permalink) Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:58 am   A 10 item or less lane?
 

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Hi,

Far be it from me to stick up for the brigade who will insist on saying 'less' and thereby making me cringe when they should be saying 'fewer' but at the same time I have a lurking doubt. Let me explain. The beginning '10 item' using 'item' as an adjective and thereby losing the 's' sets up the idea that 'less' could be construed as referring to a quantity rather than 10 items. In that light would it be possible to allow 'less' or am I out of order?

By the way I'd like to add another comment on check out behaviour. A few minutes from where I live there is a supermarket where you have a choice between going to the traditional checkouts or queueing up to go to the express checkouts where you hear 'Counter Number 1/2/3 ' sung out to you. Invariably the kosher checkouts are empty and there is a queue for the express one. Weird or what?

Alan
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A 10 item or less lane? #11 (permalink) Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:15 am   A 10 item or less lane?
 

Saneta wrote:
I don't understand the part of sentence: there might be a 10 item or less express lane.'' Please explain me this. why note: 10 items? what does,,less express lane'' mean? thanks a lot.
This should read 'Please explain this to me'. Or 'Please explain' but not 'explain me this'.

TOEIC listening, talks: Announcement by hospital staff asking to use different entrance during repainting
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A 10 item or less lane? #12 (permalink) Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:15 am   A 10 item or less lane?
 

Thanks, OxfordBlues and Alan, for your great explanation.

But Alan, the first sentence in your reply is a little difficult for me to understand. Does it mean
'I'm not supposed to support people who will insist on saying "less" (i.e. less is incorrect) and therefore, I feel a little embarrass for that they should be saying "fewer" (i.e fewer is correct) but I still have another explanation for the use of less.'

By the way, could you tell me what the phrase 'make me cringe' means and whether the word 'they' in the sentence 'they should be saying' refer to 'the people who will insist on...'?

Thanks again, and I also want to say that this is the best ESL forum I have seen, even compared with some English study forum based on my native language, for it has a team of great teachers and co-founders.
Ttg
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A 10 item or less lane? #13 (permalink) Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:09 am   A 10 item or less lane?
 

Hi Ttq,

I agree my first sentence is a bit of a muddle :
Quote:
Far be it from me to stick up for the brigade who will insist on saying 'less' and thereby making me cringe when they should be saying 'fewer' but at the same time I have a lurking doubt.

Let me be a bit more coherent! What I meant was I really don't want to support that group of people who use 'less' instead of 'fewer' because that use makes me feel embarrassed inside me because it should be 'fewer'. You are right 'they' refers to those people. I then put forward a suggestion that in this instance 'less' might be acceptable.

Hope that clears matters up.

Alan
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