Little, a little, few, a few: examples

A little, a few

a little is a small amount

a few is a small number

He has a little wine to offer. - not much but enough

She bought a few apples. - not many but enough

Only a few of our customers have bank accounts. - the number is really small

I have quite a few books on art. - quite a lot


Little, few

little is a small amount (implies lack of amount not enough / hardly any / not much)

few is a small number ((implies lack a number not enough / hardly any / not many)

There is little time for negotiations.

Little is known about this disease.

Little can be made out in the fog.

Few trees grow in my garden.

Tourists come here but few stay overnight.

So, very, too, extremely, comparatively, relatively few/little

I'm unwilling to try a drug I know so little about.

They have too many technicians, we have too few.

There are too many people chasing too few jobs.

Relatively few sites are so competitive.

There is relatively little attention.

Few – fewer – the fewest

Little – less – the least

There are fewer butterflies every year.

Fewer and fewer asylum seekers are accepted as political refugees.

Fewer and fewer students are opting for science courses nowadays.

The team that makes the fewest mistakes usually wins.

As time goes by we less and less believe in miracle.

Who has the least idea what to do?

This is the least food I have ever eaten.

Verb + a little/little (as an adverb)

It rained a little during the night.

They grumbled a little about having to wait.

The tap leaks a little.

Little + verb

He little expected to find himself in prison.

He little thought that one day he would be a millionaire.

She little knew what to do.

Little/little (as an adverb) + 'unfavorable' adjectives and adverbs

Students are a little anxious before a test.

Children write a dictation a little unwillingly.

Passengers are a little annoyed with crowds at the bus station.

Patients are waiting a little impatiently.

A little + comparative adjectives or adverbs

The paper should be a little thicker.

Can't you walk a little faster?

Little + adverb

The masterpiece is made by a little-known painter.

Never take a little-used footpath.

The few plural noun the minority of people

Art is not just for the few.
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