I want to express a thought which sounds like "Rick has eaten 8 candies and 3 pieces fewer of a pie" which means that Rick has eaten only 5 pieces of pie. Does my sentence soung grammatically correct or maybe there is some other way how to formulate that thought correctly?

  • Is this the actual phrase you want to say? Is there some reason you can't say "8 candies and 5 pieces of pie"? Is there some reason that you need to formulate it in that odd subtractive way?
    – James K
    Commented Jun 9, 2019 at 16:46
  • Yes. It is a math exercise. The idea is to ask 'How many pieces of a pie has Rick eaten". So I need to somehow formulate that condition that Rick has eaten 8 candies and fewer pieces of a pie. I'm just not sure how to make it sound right given all the conditions.
    – V. Rogov
    Commented Jun 9, 2019 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


It is much easier if you keep the object that is being counted the same. It makes the comparison easier.

Rick has eaten 8 candies. Susan has eaten three fewer candies than Rick.

Rick has eaten 8 candies. He has also eaten three fewer pieces of pie than candies.

It might be better to phrase it additively

Rick has eaten 8 candies. This is three more than the number of pieces of pie that he has eaten.

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