1) (A) FEW

We use (a) few with plural countable nouns.


- I’ve got a few close friends that I meet regularly. (positive)

- He has few close friends and often feels lonely. (negative)

- A few of her songs were popular and she was very well known. (positive)

- Few of her songs were very popular and eventually she gave up her musical career. (negative)


We use (a) little with uncountable nouns.


- I have to go now, I have a little work to do. (positive)

- There was little work to do, so I didn’t earn much money. (negative)

- We had a little money left, so we went out for a meal. (positive)

- We decided to abandon our trip as we had little money left. (negative)


Ø We often use a few and a little in a ‘positive’ way; for example, to talk about a small amount or quantity, to indicate that this is enough, or suggest that it is more than we would expect.

Ø We often use few and little in a ‘negative’ way; for example, to suggest that the amount or quantity is not enough, is surprisingly low. This use of few and little is often rather formal.


We can also use few and little with the, her, my, etc. in a similar ‘negative’ way.


- She put her few clothes into a bag, and walked out of the house for ever.

- We should use the little time we have available to discuss Jon’s proposal.


Ø In speech or informal writing, it is more usual to use not many/much or only a few/little instead of few and little, and we often use a bit of in informal speech instead of a little.


- I won’t be long. I’ve only got a few things to get. (rather than …got few things…)

- Sorry I haven’t finished, I haven’t much time to do today. (rather than …I had little time…)

- Do you want a bit of chocolate? (rather than …a little chocolate?)

Ø In more formal contexts, such as academic writing, we generally prefer few and little

Example: The results take little account of personal preference. (rather than …don’t take much…)