Little vs. Few

As you might have seen 'little and 'few' in English contexts a lot. let's take a look at them.

What Are Their Main Differences?

These two words are similar in meaning, but there are slight differences between them. 'Little' is used to refer to a singular uncountable noun, while 'few' is used to refer to a plural countable noun.

Differences

What They Refer to

  • 'Little':

refers to a small amount.

Little oil is left in the bottle.

  • 'Few':

refers to a small number.

Few cars are worth the price.

Countable or Uncountable Nouns?

  • 'Little':

is followed by a singular uncountable noun.

Little rain has made the ground wet.

  • 'Few':

is followed by a plural countable noun.

Few political issues are solved by the government.

Grammatical Functions

Besides their mutual grammatical functions 'little' can also be an adverb, while 'few' cannot.

The students have improved very little.

Similarities

Grammatical Functions

  • 'Little':

can have different grammatical functions.

  1. Determiner
  2. Pronoun
  3. Adjective
  • 'Few':

can have different grammatical functions.

  1. Determiner
  2. Pronoun
  3. Adjective

What They Refer to

  • 'Little' and 'few':

both refer to a small quantity.

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