Some business leaders’ newfound confidence has been inspired by a recent regulatory pullback, not so much because deregulation is saving money as because the current administration has instilled confidence that companies will be subject to less regulations for at least the next several years.
(A) will be subject to less regulations
(B) will be subjected to less regulations
(C) are subject to fewer regulations
(D) will be subject to fewer regulations
(E) are subjected to less regulations
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Idiom: Fewer vs. Less, Verb Tense
The major issue at play in this question is fewer vs. less. The rule is that fewer must be used to modify plural (quantifiable) nouns, whereas less can only be used to modify singular (non-quantifiable) nouns. The noun in question here is regulations, plural, so fewer is required. That reduces the options to (C) and (D). (C) is incorrect because the phrase for at least the next several years clearly indicates that the sentence is describe a future scenario. As a result, will be rather than are is required, making the answer (D). Note that the question of subject to vs. subjected to is only a distraction here: the real issue is fewer vs. less and the verb tense.