Little and few often cause problems for English learners. We take a closer look at these two little words in English and you can test your knowledge with the exercises at the bottom of the page.
I’ve got little time for chit-chat as I’m running late for the airport.
The radio says there is more than a little traffic on the motorway, so I’ve got to hurry up.
A few of us are going to Spain for a holiday.
We all have less time and fewer holidays than we used to.
That’s why it’s so important that we spend a few days together each year.
(A) Little or (A) Few
(A) little and (a) few are determiners. Use (a) little with uncountable nouns and (a) few with countable plural nouns.
- little and few mean not as much/many as desired or expected
- I’ve got little time to chit-chat.
- Few people take time to relax.
- a little and a few mean some
- There is more than a little traffic on the motorway.
- We spend a few days together each year.
- use a little of and a few of before a pronoun or determiner
- A few of us are going to Spain for a holiday.
- less and fewer are the comparative forms of little and few, see Less/Fewer
- We all have less time and fewer holidays than we used to.
In informal langauge not much/many are more common that little or few.
- I don’t have much time for chit-chat.
Only a little/few or very little/few also appear more frequently than just little and few.
- Only a few friends are coming to Spain.