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Lessons

A Little / A Few

The expressions a little and a few mean some.

Countable / Uncountable Nouns

In connection with a little / a few people often speak of countable nouns and uncountable nouns.

Countable nouns have a singular and a plural form. In plural, these nouns can be used with a number (that's why they are called 'countable nouns'). Countable nouns take a few.

Example:
4 friends – a few friends

Uncountable nouns can only be used in singular. These nouns cannot be used with a number (that's why they are called 'uncountable nouns'). Uncountable nouns take a little.

Example:
3 moneya little money

Note: Of course you can count money – but then you would name the currency and say that you have got 3 euro (but not „3 money“).

A Little / A few or Little / Few

It's a difference if you use a little / a few or little / few. Without the article, the words have a limiting or negative meaning.

Without the article, little / few sound rather formal. That's why we don't use them very often in everyday English. A negative sentence with much / many is more common here.

Example:
I need little money. = I do not need much money.
Few friends visited me. = Not many friends visited me.

Exercises on a little / a few

a little / a few

little / few

Changed: 10th Dec 2010 19:36

URL: http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/vocabulary/little-few