Lesson Nine

a few / a little

 Few is used with count nouns:

a few = 3-4  few = a small amount

Q: How many cars are there?

A: There are just a few.

(a few = 3 or 4)

There are a few bananas on the table.
bananas  (a few = 3 or 4)

She’s sad because she has very few friends.

(This means she doesn’t have many friends. Notice there is no article. “A few” means something different.


Few people were at the meeting. She expected 20, but only three came.

(In this example and the one above, the situation is not good.)


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 Little is used with non count nouns

a little / little = a small amount

He dropped a little paint on his wife’s head.

You can also use…

a little bit of

He dropped a little bit of paint on his wife’s head.

There’s a little snow on the road and on the ground. farm

He got very little sleep last night.

(Notice that “sleep” is a noun in this sentence. “A little sleep” is a small amount of sleep, and “little sleep” is not very much sleep or no sleep.)


Q: Did she find what she was looking for in the newspaper?

A: No. There was very little information.


Watch this video:

Try this quiz.

Next: Lesson Ten a lot, some, any