The Difference between ‘A few’ and ‘Few’ (Used with Countable Nouns)

a few = two or three / a couple

I have a few friends who speak Japanese.

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I have met a few famous people in my life.

In these sentences, a few means two or three. ‘A few’ is less than some but more than none. ‘A few’ is used with countable nouns (friends, people).

few = not many / almost none 

Mary has made few mistakes in her life.

This means that she has not made many mistakes in her life. This sounds positive sầu. She does not make many mistakes. However, if Mary had made a few mistakes in her life, then it means she has made two or three (a couple, cthất bại khổng lồ several) mistakes. She has made mistakes. This sounds more negative sầu. Let’s look at another example lớn make it clearer.

A Few vs. Few: An Example

Imagine that a student named Carlos has just moved to lớn Toronkhổng lồ. He has been there for three days but he has already made three friends. What would you say in this situation?

Carlos has already made (show answer)a few friends. 

Now, imagine that another student, Jose, who is very shy, has been in Toronto lớn for a year. Despite this, he has only made three friends. What would you say?

Jose has made (show answer)few friends. 

Can you see the difference? Jose has not made many friends. This means he has made few friends. On the other hvà, Carlos has already made three friends. He has a few friends.

The Difference between ‘a little’ và ‘little’ (Used with Uncountable Nouns)

Now, if you understand the difference between ‘a few’ and ‘few’, then the difference between ‘a little’ và ‘little’ is easy. The only difference is a little và little are used with uncountable nouns (e.g. sugar, money, stress).

a little = less than some but more than none

He put a little sugar in his coffee.

little = not much

We have sầu little time, so let’s start working.He had little experience working with children, so he was not hired.

A Little vs. Little: An Example

You want to check your e-mail before you leave sầu the house. You check your watch & see that you have sầu 4 minutes. Therefore, you decide to check your e-mail because you have (show answer)a little time.

If you had little time, you probably wouldn’t check your tin nhắn because that would mean you vì chưng not have sầu much. This implies that you have less time than you need.


He had little time, so he decided lớn run.

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Note: Little can also be an Adverb

Little can also be used as an adverb without a noun. It can be used with verbs (e.g. know, care, grow) lớn express how much someone knows, cares, or grows. For example:

I know little about it. (Little = not much, not a lot; this sounds negative)He knows a little about it. (A little = less than ‘some’, but more than none; this sounds more positive)

Someone who knows a little knows more than someone who knows little.

She has grown little. (little = not much, not a lot)Her brother has grown a little. (a little = less than ‘some’ but more than none; this is similar khổng lồ ‘slightly’).

The sister has not grown very much (‘little’ means not enough, and has a negative feeling). However, her brother has grown a little, which means he has grown (but less than “he has grown some”).

Do you think you understand? Take the quiz below! If you have sầu any questions, please leave sầu a comment.

Write a few, few, a little, little in the below lines. Good luck.

Roger wants khổng lồ buy a new oto. His friover has a Toyota, & he’s had problems with it, so Roger is thinking about buying a Toyota too. However, Roger has money. In fact, he probably doesn’t have sầu enough lớn buy a new car.My friover Tina has space left on her hard drive sầu, so can’t download big files. She’s thinking about buying a bigger hard drive sầu, but she’s worried that she won’t be able khổng lồ install it. She knows about computers. Her computer is getting pretty old. It breaks down times a day. I told her she should just buy a new computer.Caroline wants khổng lồ thua trận weight, so she has started using the stairs at work instead of taking the elevator. Show Answersfew, littlelittle, little, a fewa little

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hello?how ar U?am still have question about few & a few.Imagine if U are juste doing a text or an exam thé teacher give sầu this question of complete with few & a few how are U going to use it cuz WR know that both of used with countable nouns?

Hello! It is quite complete but i have a question, it say that a few & few are for countable noun, and many source on google say the same but i found a sentence that say “but there were a few shower in the evening”. I am confused, you are a native speaker, so would you mind helping me? Thanks for your attention

“there were a few shower in the evening” is an incorrect sentence. “there were a few showers” is correct.

Oh oke i get it. Thank you! But which is correct i get it or i got it if i want to lớn say i understand?

Both are fine in this context .”I got it” = I understood. “I get it” = I understvà.

What is the different between i understood and understand? I am sorry so much question, tjanks for your replyy

‘I understood’ is in the past tense, and ‘I understand’ is the present tense. Usually we say “I understand” when we are talking about something happening now

here, can’t we say ”a little money” in spite of saying ”little money” in the given question?

can you mark và give sầu me the result

Is it correct that we use few for uncountable noun? & another question….icant ay for lunch I have… ,2)little. ,3)a little…….please explain for me.Thanks:-)

The correct awnser in the quiz is “She knows little about computers”.. but computer is not a countable noun? Shoud not be few in this case?

Actually, the noun of the sentence would be ‘knowledge’ right? If so, the use of ‘little’ is correct.. I did not know we have sầu khổng lồ considere implied nouns..

Hello Sir i wanted to learn about how we write creatively in essay if some topic have sầu given khổng lồ us

Caroline wants khổng lồ thảm bại ________ weight, so she has starting using the stairs at work instead of taking the elevator.