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Learn more about this comparative adjective.
1. (comparative)
a. less (with uncountable nouns)
Tengo menos tiempo libre hoy que ayer. I have less free time today than yesterday.
b. fewer (with countable nouns)
El profesor tiene menos alumnos en sus clases este semestre.The professor has fewer students in his classes this semester.
2. (superlative)
a. the least (with uncountable nouns)
La persona que menos agua gaste ganará.The person who wastes the least amount of water will win.
b. the fewest (with countable nouns)
La ardilla con menos bellotas tiene que ponerse a trabajar. The squirrel with the fewest acorns needs to get busy.
3. (comparative)
a. less
Si comes menos, bajarás de peso.If you eat less, you'll lose weight.
4. (superlative)
a. least
El menos grasoso de todos esos platos es la ensalada.The least greasy of all those dishes is the salad.
5. (temperature)
a. below
La temperatura hoy está a menos diez grados. The temperature today is ten below zero.
b. minus
No sé como la gente aguanta cuando la temperatura está a menos 40 grados. I don't know how people stand it when the temperature is minus 40 degrees.
6. (excluding)
a. except
Todos confirmaron su asistencia menos Alberto.Everyone except Alberto has confirmed their attendance.
7. (subtraction)
a. minus
Cinco menos dos son tres.Five menos two is three.
b. to (time)
Son las once menos diez.It's ten to eleven.
masculine noun
8. (mathematical sign)
a. minus sign
Te faltó escribir el menos en tu ecuación.You forgot to write the minus sign in your equation.
9. (reduced quantity)
a. less
No me gusta mucho el jamón en los emparedados. Me pone menos, ¿por favor?I don't really like ham on sandwiches. Can I have less, please?
1. (comparativo) less (cantidad) ; fewer (número)
  • menos aire less air
  • menos manzanas fewer apples
  • menos… que… less/fewer… than…
  • tiene menos experiencia que tú she has less experience than you
  • hace menos calor que ayer it's not as hot as it was yesterday
  • hay dos libros de menos there are two books missing
  • me han dado 10 euros de menos they've given me 10 euros too little
2. (superlativo) the least (cantidad) ; the fewest (número)
  • el que compró menos acciones the one who bought the fewest shares
  • lo que menos tiempo llevó the thing that took the least time
  • la que menos nota sacó en el examen the girl who did (the) worst o got the worst marks in the exam
3. (informal) (peor)
  • éste es menos coche que el mío that car isn't as good as mine
4. (comparativo) less
  • menos de/que less than
  • son menos de las diez it's not quite ten o'clock yet
5. (superlativo)
  • el/la/lo menos the least
  • el menos interesante/difícil the least interesting/difficult
  • él es el menos indicado para criticar he's the last person who should be criticizing
  • es lo menos que puedo hacer it's the least I can do
6. minus (expresa resta)
  • tres menos dos igual a uno three minus two is one
7. to (con las horas) (peninsular Spanish, RP)
  • son las dos menos diez it's ten to two
  • son menos diez it's ten to
8. (expresiones)
  • ¡menos mal! just as well!, thank God!
  • es lo de menos that's the least of it, that's of no importance
  • hacer de menos a alguien to snub somebody
  • lo menos at least (como mínimo)
  • nada menos (que) no less (than)
  • ni mucho menos nor anything like it
  • no es para menos not without (good) reason
  • venir a menos to go down in the world
masculine noun
9. minus (sign) (Mat)
10. except (for) (excepto)
  • todo menos eso anything but that
a menos que
conjunctive phrase
1. unless
  • no iré a menos que me acompañes I won't go unless you come with me
al menos
adverbial phrase
1. at least
por lo menos
adverbial phrase
1. at least
1 (comparativo) less
ahora salgo menos I go out less these days; últimamente nos vemos menos we've been seeing less of each other recently; me gusta cada vez menos I like it less and less; una película menos conocida a less well-known film; Juan está menos deprimido Juan is less depressed; es menos difícil de lo que parece it's less difficult than it seems
gana dos veces menos
menos aún even less
este me gusta menos aún I like this one even less
menos de (con sustantivos incontables, medidas, dinero, tiempo) less than; (con sustantivos contables) fewer than
menos de nueve
está a menos de tres horas en tren it's less than three hours away by train; llegamos en menos de diez minutos we got there in less than o in under ten minutes; menos de lo que piensas less than you think; tiene menos de dieciocho años he's under eighteen; menos de 50 cajas fewer than 50 boxes
en menos de nada in no time at all
por menos de nada for no reason at all
menos que less than
me gusta menos que el otro I like it less than the other one; trabaja menos que yo he doesn't work as hard as I do; este es menos caro que aquel this one is less expensive than that one; lo hizo menos cuidadosamente que ayer he did it less carefully than yesterday
2 (superlativo) least
su película menos innovadora his least innovative film; es el menos inteligente de los cuatro he is the least intelligent of the four; el chico menos desobediente de la clase the least disobedient boy in the class; es el que habla menos he's the one who talks (the) least; fue el que trabajó menos he was the one who did the least work
al menos at least
hay al menos cien personas there are at least a hundred people; si al menos lloviera if only it would rain
de menos
hay siete de menos we're seven short; there are seven missing; me dieron un paquete con medio kilo de menos they gave me a packet which was half a kilo short o under weight; me han pagado dos libras de menos they have underpaid me by two pounds; darse de menos to underestimate o.s.; hacer a algn de menos to put sb down
echar de menos a algn to miss sb
ir a menos to come down in the world
lo menos diez at least ten
lo menos posible as little as possible; es lo menos que se puede esperar it's the least one can expect
eso es lo de menos that's the least of it
¡menos mal! thank goodness!
¡menos mal que habéis venido! thank goodness you've come!
era nada menos que un rey he was a king, no less
no es para menos quite right too
por lo menos at least
¡qué menos!
—le di un euro de propina —¡qué menos! "I tipped her a euro" — "that was the least you could do!"
—al final me pidió perdón —¿qué menos?
¿qué menos que darle las gracias? the least we can do is say thanks!
quedarse en menos
no se quedó en menos he was not to be outdone
tener a menos hacer algo to consider it beneath o.s. to do sth
venir a menos to come down in the world
y menos
no quiero verle y menos visitarle I don't want to see him, let alone visit him
¡ya será menos! come off it!
1 (comparativo) (con sustantivos incontables, medidas, dinero, tiempo) less; (con sustantivos contables) fewer
menos harina less flour
con menos ruido
menos gatos fewer cats; aquí hay menos gente there are fewer people here
menos ... que
A tiene menos ventajas que B A has fewer advantages than B; Ana tiene menos años que Carlos Ana is younger than Carlos; no soy menos hombre que él I'm as much of a man as he is; este es menos coche que el anterior this is not as good a car as the last one
ser menos que
ganaremos porque son menos que nosotros we'll win because there are fewer of them than there are of us; para no ser menos que los vecinos to keep up with the neighbours
2 (superlativo) (con sustantivos incontables, medidas, dinero, tiempo) least; (con sustantivos contables) fewest
el método que lleva menos tiempo the method which takes (the) least time; es el que menos culpa tiene he is the least to blame; el examen con menos errores the exam paper with the fewest mistakes
1 (excepto) except
todos menos él everybody except him; ¡todo menos eso! anything but that!
2 (Matemáticas) (para restar) minus; less
cinco menos dos five minus o less two; siete menos dos (son) cinco seven minus two is five; son las siete menos veinte it's twenty to seven
a menos que unless
no iré a menos que me acompañes I won't go unless you come with me
1 (Matemáticas) minus sign
los menos the minority
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