Few, a Few, Little, a Little

Have you ever struggled with these Quantifiers ?

Let begin with the basic stuff, the definition by the british Council: “We use quantifiers when we want to give someone information about the number of something: how much or how many”.

Few and a Few

Few and a few are used when using a plural countable nouns.

Examples:

Few people, few letters, few pages.
a few people, a few letters, a few pages.

But the difference between using a few and few is that few means ‘almost none’ or ‘not enough’ and a few means a small amount but enough.

Examples:

If you need one just tell me I have few books. (I have hardly any books, almost not enough).
If you need one just tell me but, I have a few books. (I have some books, which is positive)

Little and a Little

The same thing happens with little and a little. We use little and a little with uncountable nouns.

Examples:

a little time, a little work, a little money.
little time, little work, little money.

And the difference between little and a little is that little means hardly enough of something and a little means some amount but enough.

Examples:

I have little money, i can’t buy a new laptop. (I don’t have money but not enough)
I have a little money, i can buy a new laptop. (I have some money, enough for a new laptop)

Summary

So if the noun is countable we use Few and a Few and if the noun is uncountable we use Little and a Little.

If there is enough quantity we use a Few and Few. If there is not enough quantity of something we use few and little.

Few, a Few, Little, a Little – Exercises

Exercise #1

Exercise #2

Exercise #3

Exercise #4

Exercise #5

Exercise #6

Exercise #7

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