[Grammar] A Few VS Few

Hey, guys~ Welcome back to [Grammar]! It’s nice to learn with you!

Before we begin today’s grammar, let’s first review the quiz in last Thursday’s [Grammar].

The number of people who ___have___ cars ___is___ growing. ⇒ “who” leads a attributive clause with “people” as its subject. “The number of people” is the subject of the main clause. It is a singular subject, so it is followed by a singular verb “is”.


We use the word “few” when we want to describe the quantity of something. But wait, what the hell with “a few”? Are they the same in meaning?

In today’s  [Grammar] we are going to explain the difference between “a few” and “few”. Let’s go!

Let’s get started!

1. A Few

A few = some. It is used with plural countable nouns.

We stayed a few days in America due to the flight delay. ⇒ We stayed in America for some days but not for too long.

I have a few American friends. I knew them when I was an exchange student. ⇒ I have some American friends but not many.  

However, “quite a few” means a lot.

I have read quite a few books about Shakespeare. ⇒ I have read a lot of books about Shakespeare.

2. Few

“Few” emphasizes a small number of something but not as many as may be wished for. So “few” has a negative meaning.

Few people in the village leave their home for cities. ⇒ The number of people leave their home is very small and near to none.

There are few apples in our refrigerator. ⇒ There are almost no apples in the refrigerator, so we need to buy some.

See, it is not that difficult to distinguish “a few” from “few”. Therefore, we prepare a quiz for you👇it is time to show yourself!



#1. _____ students understood the question, so the teacher explained it again.

#2. I recognized _____ people in the party because I met them before.



That’s all for today’s [Grammar]!!!


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