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A Little / A Few

A Little / A Few

Сайт: Санкт-Петербургский центр оценки качества образования и информационных технологий
Курс: Английский язык (10 класс)
Книга: A Little / A Few
Напечатано:: Гость
Дата: Wednesday, 16 October 2019, 11:22

A Little / A Few

The expressions a little and a few mean some. If a noun is in singular, we use a little

Example: a little money

If a noun is in plural, we use a few

Example: a few friends

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:  a 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.

a little = some

 little = hardly any

Example:

I need a little money. - I need some money.

I need little money. - I need hardly any money.

a few = some

few = hardly any

Example:

A few friends visited me. - Some friends visited me.

Few friends visited me. - Hardly any friends visited me.

 

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.

Grammar material in Russian

You can find here this grammar material in Russian