What Is The Difference Between 'A Few' And 'Few', 'A Little' And 'Little' And 'Little' And 'Few'?


5 Answers

Muhammad Suleman Profile
'All the words 'Little', 'A little', 'Few', 'A Few' are called adjectives. Adjectives are the words that are used with a noun to add something for its meaning. The words described above are often confused. In fact there is a difference between them illustrated below:
'Few' is used with nouns that are countable in numbers whereas 'Little' is used with nouns that are not countable in numbers.

It means hardly any. Therefore it has negative meaning.
For example:
• There is little hope of our team's victory now.
• He showed little concern for his niece.
• He showed little interest in Chemistry.

A little:
It means some enough though not much. Therefore it has positive meaning.
For example:
• A little planning could have saved the situation.
• A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
• There is a little hope of his recovery from the disease.
It means not many, hardly any. So, therefore it has negative meaning.
For example:
• Few people speak the truth today.
• Few women in our society can keep a secret.

A Few:
It means 'some' as opposed to 'none'. Therefore it has positive meaning.
For Example:
• A few words spoken in polite will convince the lord.
• A few children can speak English correctly in our society.
Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
With both little and few, the "a" gives the sentence a more positive meaning. For example, if you say, "I have a few friends" it suggests that you are quite happy with this, ie you feel you have enough friends. If you say "I have few friends," however, the implication is that you feel rather lonely/ you'd like more friends.

Little works the same way, only with uncountable (ie, non-plural) nouns: "a little money" has a positive sound, while "little money" is not enough.

(By the way, if you add ONLY, "a little/ a few" will then lose their positive meaning. "Only a few friends/ only a little money" again suggests that you need more.)

As mentioned, the difference between "little" and "few" is purely grammatical. They both mean "not a lot", but "few" applies only to plural forms (ie when you have more than one of something) apples, pens, books etc. "Little" applies to things you can't count, like time, happiness etc. Hope this helps.
thanked the writer.
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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Few is used when you can count something in numbers. For example, a few candies. Little is used when the thing is less but you can not count it in numbers. For example, a little milk. You can not say a few milk because you can count milk in numbers. You can only measure it.
Pavan R Chawla Profile
Pavan R Chawla answered
I have little money  means I have no money.

I have a little money means just that: I have (only) a little money.

'Little', in the context used above, means none, while 'a little' means some -- not much, only a little.

If you were to use the word little without 'a' to imply some, try it in a sentence and hear how incorrect it sounds:  I have little money so I can buy you a lemonade.  Of course you never use little like that in a sentence; you say, I have a little money so I can buy you a lemonade.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
A few is used with countable nouns..like a few friends-4 friends

a little is used with uncountable nouns..like a little money is left..it can't be 3 money..though it can be 3 rs / euro..

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