What is the difference between few a few little and a little

What is the difference between few a few little and a little

What is the difference between few a few little and a little

Remember that nouns in the English language are divided into two types:
A. Countable Noun: It is a countable noun, and the plural of it usually ends in (s),
Such as: book-books, boy-boys, car-cars, dinar-dinars, tree-trees
B. Uncountable noun: It is a noun that cannot be counted because it indicates a quantity and cannot be combined with (s) such as: water, milk, ink, oil, patience, knowledge, courage, money, salt,
sugar , rice , paper , information , advice ,
Study the following explanation:

a few

 (few but sufficient/meaning positive) It is used with a countable noun - usually ending in (s). The few benefit in number, but this little is enough / positive

Study the following examples

1. Although Jack has been in Amman for only a couple of weeks ,

  he has a few friends ;he is quite sociable .

2. It was snowing, but a few customers came to the shop.

few

 (few and not enough / meaning is negative) It is also used with a countable noun. It states that the number is insufficient / negative.

Study the following examples

1. Majed has few friends in Amman ; he is lonely .

2. I have only a few chairs; we can't all sit down .

a little 

(Quantity is small but sufficient / The meaning is positive) It is used with an uncountable noun. It states that the quantity is small, but it is sufficient. / Positive.

Study the following sentences

1. There is a little sugar. I can make two cups of tea .

2. I have a little money. I can buy some food .

little 

 (Quantity is small but not enough / The meaning is negative) It is also used with a noun that is not

countable)

 Study the following examples:

1. There is little sugar. I can't make a cup of tea.

2. I have little money. I can't buy any food .

We can generalize the following rules based on the examples above:

Base 1 +(A few) a countable noun and + (A little) an uncountable noun. It gives a positive meaning: there is a small number or quantity, but it is sufficient. (It means there is a small number or quantity)

Base 2 + (Few) is a countable noun and + (Little) is an uncountable noun. Gives a negative meaning:

The number or quantity is few and insufficient. (meaning almost no number or quantity)

Summary:

Few/little 

(They are considered negations in the English language) so they almost have the same meaning as No.

Put in the blank the appropriate word from the following words: few/a few /little/ a little

1. He is lonely. He has ............... friends.

   (a few, few)

2. They have not finished yet. They need ……………..more time.

                                                                     (a little, little)

3. There's.......cake left. Would you like some?

                                                                         (a little, little)

4. Ahmad didn't get a full mark because he made………..mistakes in the exam.

                                                                           (few, a few)

5. I have………money that I can buy a sandwich.

                                                                          (a little, little)

6. I have…………..money that I can’t buy a sandwich.

                                                                         ( a little, little)

7. I will go to London because I have…………friends there to help me.

                                                                          (a few, few)

8. I won't go to London because I have……..friends there to help me.

                                                                           (a few, few)

Typical answers

1. few= (no friends) Negative meaning: has no friends. So he feels lonely.         

2. a little = positive: they are not finished yet. They need a little time.

3. a little=positive: there is a little cake. Would you like to eat some of it?     

4. a few=The meaning is positive: Ahmed did not get a full mark because he made a few mistakes in the exam

 5. a little=The meaning is positive: I have a little money, but it is enough to buy a sandwich.

6. little= (no money) Negative: I don't have money to buy a sandwich.                   

7. a few=The meaning is positive: I'm going to London I have a few friends there to help me.     

8. few= (no friends) The meaning is negative: I have no friends in London to help me.

Note: 

The easiest way to check your answer is to put the word (no) in the blank. If the meaning of the sentence is correct, the answer is either (few), or (little) because it = approximately the word No.




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