Little vs. Some

Both of the two words are quantifiers and they are misused a lot but if you know the meanings. It would make no confusion for you.

"Little" vs. "Some" in the English Grammar

What Are Their Main Differences?

'Little' refers to a small amount that is not enough, but 'some' refers to an unspecific amount that is unknown.


What They Refer to

  • 'Some':

refers to an unknown amount. By unknown amount we mean; you do not know the exact amount or number.

They made some money by selling the old books.

Some of our friends requested to be his made of honor.

  • 'Little':

refers to a small amount. That is actually, less than enough and it is mostly defined by almost nothing.

There is little use in investigating money on this subject.

There is little chance for you to arrive on time.

Where They Are Used

  • 'little':

We have made little profit of building the new houses.

Is there little hope for me to get to Italy?

  • 'some':

is used in positive sentences. We can also use 'some' in questions to offer or request something, but only when we are sure that the answer would be a definite 'yes'.

I need some rest. (Not "I don’t need some rest.")

"Would you like some coffee?" "Yes, I would love to."


'Any' is a good alternative for 'some' in question and negative sentences. In every case, we mean in questions whether the answer is 'yes' or 'no'.


Grammatical Functions

  • 'Some' and 'little':

are both quantifiers and they are also used as pronouns when the noun is easily understood.

Little bread is on the table, it wouldn’t make for breakfast. → determiner

Some people believe in ghosts. → determiner

That is too much pasta, I asked for some. → pronoun

Here in this example, it is obvious that 'some' refers to ''pasta''.

Singular or Plural Nouns?

  • 'Little':

is followed by a singular uncountable noun.

Add little pepper to the Alfredo sauce.

Plants are going to dry with this little water.

  • 'Some':

is followed by a singular uncountable noun or a plural countable noun.

I would like some tea please.

Some boys act like children.

'Little of' and 'Some of'

'Little of' and 'some of' are used before noun phrases (determiners + nouns) and pronouns. In this case, the noun after them can be plural even after 'little'.

Some of the aspects of the job make me feel terrified.

She made little of her problems.


Loading recaptcha
  • linkedin
  • linkedin
  • facebook
  • facebook
  • email

You might also like

Little vs. Few

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

Little vs. Less

'Less' and 'little' are truly close to each other. There is just a delicate difference between them.

Neither vs. Nither

It's possible to never encounter 'nither' in the daily English context. But, if you want to know the difference between them, let us start.

Less vs. Fewer

Since they are similar in their meanings. They cause problems for beginners because it is difficult for new learners to choose when and where to use them.

Less vs. Lesser

You might think they are the same or used interchangeably, but you're mistaken. We will discuss it in this lesson.

Less vs. Least

'Less' and 'least' are used a lot in English so it is important to know their differences. Let's dive right into it.

Download LanGeek app