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Little, a little, few and a few - Know the usage

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Are you left confused when it comes to using little, a little, few and a few? Then worry not! We are here to help you. It’s time to avoid the confusion by understanding the difference between these four. The best way to learn new things is by practising it. Let’s start the article and know more about little, a little, few and a few.



Little/ a little


Little - in a very small amount or degree. Not very often.
A little - a small amount or quantity. Not much but some

Few/ a few


Few – not many
A few – not many but some

After going through the definitions, one can draw the conclusion that they are related to countable and uncountable nouns. We use little and a little for uncountable, whereas few and a few for countable. When we add “a” we increase the quantity. So, we can have “few friends” which means almost no friends; or we can have “a few friends”, which means we have some friends.



Examples

- My daughter sleeps little and eats nothing at the night.
- My daughter sleeps a little every afternoon, which keeps her active for the entire evening.

- I have a little money; maybe we can go for shopping.
- I have little money; we will have to wait until my salary gets credited.

- There are very few chocolates left; we need to buy more.
- There are a few chocolates left; we can make a chocolate muffin.

- Few people came to the interviews.
- A few people will be coming to the interview; we must get everything arranged.

Now answer this simple test to know how much you have understood.

1. We had _____ snow last winter. (little, few)
2. She has _____ relatives. (little, few)
3. There are ______ birthdays to celebrate this month. (a few, a little)
4. My parents give me ______pocket money every week. (a few, a little)
5. There is still ______ milk left. (a few, a little)
6. ______ animals can survive in the desert. (few, little)
7. There is _____ water in the pond. (few, little)
8. I would like to eat _____ biscuits now. (a few, a little)

Correct answers: 1. Little 2. Few 3. A few 4. A little 5. A little 6. Few 7. Little 8. A few

The above-mentioned explanation might clear the confusion. To develop a deeper understanding of the English language, all you need to do is to enroll in an English learning course online to help better not only your English grammar skills, but also your spoken English skills.

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- By Shailja Varma

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