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Meaning of few



 
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Meaning of few #1 (permalink) Sat Feb 18, 2006 17:34 pm   Meaning of few
 

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #80 "Some, any, few, little", question 4

I only have ......... dollars.

(a) some
(b) any
(c) a little
(d) a few

English Grammar Tests, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #80 "Some, any, few, little", answer 4

I only have a few dollars.

Correct answer: (d) a few
_________________________

what is few?
meaning of few, please

Jojo
Jojo
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Meaning of new #2 (permalink) Sat Feb 18, 2006 23:06 pm   Meaning of new
 

Hey Jojo,
FEW means you have a small but indefinite number of things or people. For example: I have a few books on my shelf. You don't know how many books, but you know it's a small amount of books so you say "few".
Caroline
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Joined: 28 Jan 2006
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Only few vs. quite a few #3 (permalink) Sun Feb 19, 2006 0:43 am   Only few vs. quite a few
 

Hi Caroline,

What about the difference between few and a few? For example:

Yesterday only few people attended the meeting. (Here only a small number of people attended the meeting.)

Yesterday quite a few people attended the meeting. (Here a rather large number of people attended the meeting.)
Englishfan
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Meaning of few #4 (permalink) Sun Feb 19, 2006 17:06 pm   Meaning of few
 

Dear Englishfan,
There are two ways you can look at it:
First: FEW is for countable nouns and A FEW is for uncountable nouns.

Second: FEW can be used to express something negative. A FEW can be used to express something positive.

Looking at your examples we see:

Yesterday only few people attended the meeting. (Here only a small number of people attended the meeting.)

FEW is expressing something negative. Not many people came.

Yesterday quite a few people attended the meeting. (Here a rather large number of people attended the meeting.)

A FEW is expressing something positive. A good number of people.
Caroline
I'm new here and I like it ;-)
Caroline Binda

Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 23
Location: United States

Few vs. little #5 (permalink) Sun Feb 19, 2006 17:58 pm   Few vs. little
 

Hello Caroline,

It's very kind of you to offer your help with what seems to be your native language, thank you. Either you really like it or you are an obliging person (when it looks as if there are less and less of those left nowadays, itís refreshing to be proven otherwise). Perhaps I should do the same in other forums (it would certainly do me no harm). But I must be selfish, since Iíd rather be here instead, having a good time.

As to this thread's actual topic, correct me if I'm wrong, but in your explanation:

Quote:
FEW is for countable nouns and A FEW is for uncountable nouns.

I think you meant:

'Few' modifies only countable nouns and
'little' modifies only uncountable nouns.
Conchita
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Few/ a few/ little/ a little #6 (permalink) Sun Feb 19, 2006 18:34 pm   Few/ a few/ little/ a little
 

I think we can summarize all this in a pretty simple way :)

positive idea (something is enough)
countable nouns - A FEW; There are a few English books in this bookshop. (enough)
uncountable nouns - A LITTLE; I have a little money. (enough to pay for the books)

negative idea (something isnít enough)
countable nouns - FEW; There are few English books in this bookshop. (not enough)
uncountable nouns - LITTLE; I have little money. (not enough to pay for the books.)

Daniela
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(a) few/few (a)little/little #7 (permalink) Sun Feb 19, 2006 19:15 pm   (a) few/few (a)little/little
 

Hi Jojo,

You've certainly started something! I think I'd like to have a go, too.

Let's put these little words in context:

Imagine you want to make some money. You hold a concert but the music is very serious and not many people come to the concert because they don't like this sort of music. After it's over you say:

I wanted to make a little money (not a lot just some) but not many people came to my concert because nowadays there is little interest in serious music (not really very much). Few people want to some out in the evening to a concert (not many really) but at least a few people bought tickets (a small number) As TESCO keeps saying in television advertisements: Every little helps.

Just some thoughts

Alan
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Meaning of few #8 (permalink) Sun Feb 19, 2006 20:24 pm   Meaning of few
 

Dear Conchita
Thanks for pointing that out. Sorry Englishman for that wrong information.

I said:
FEW is for countable nouns and A FEW is for uncountable nouns.

Conchita kindly corrected it.
Quote:
I think you meant:

'Few' modifies only countable nouns and
'little' modifies only uncountable nouns.

Let me add some info to that.

FEW/A FEW = countable nouns
LITTLE/ A LITTLE = uncountable nouns

FEW/LITTLE= negative meanings
A FEW/ A LITTLE = positive meanings


Notice: LITTLE used in singular. FEW used in plural

There is little milk left for us to drink.(singular)

There are few restaurants in my city.(plural)

Notice: A FEW/ A LITTLE can be replaced by some.
FEW/ LITTLE can be replaced by not much or not many

I have a little money left. (I have some money left.)
I have few dollars left. ( I don't have many dollars left.)

Thanks again Conchita and I am glad to know you are part of this forum. I am a new member and would love to get to know you better.
Guest






Only few vs. quite a few #9 (permalink) Sun Apr 02, 2006 19:35 pm   Only few vs. quite a few
 

englishfan wrote:
Hi Caroline,

What about the difference between few and a few? For example:

Yesterday only few people attended the meeting. (Here only a small number of people attended the meeting.)

Yesterday quite a few people attended the meeting. (Here a rather large number of people attended the meeting.)

Hi caroline
what is the meaning of rather? i mean when do we use it? give some examples plzzzzzz
bittu
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Meaning of few #10 (permalink) Mon Apr 03, 2006 17:46 pm   Meaning of few
 

Dear Bittu,
Quote:
Hi caroline
what is the meaning of rather? i mean when do we use it? give some examples plzzzzzz

Here are some examples:

I'd rather go to the mall. (Rather indicates preference. It can be replaced by the word "prefer"; I would "prefer" to go to the mall).

It's rather cold in this room. (Rather means to a certain extent (great or small). The word could be replaced by words like "very", "really", "somewhat", "a bit"; It's "really" cold in this room.)

Rather than calling for an ambulance, he took his wife to the hospital himself. (Rather means "on the contrary" . The word could be replaced by "instead"; "Instead" of calling the ambulance, he took his wife to the hospital himself.)

He is my boss, or rather he was my boss. (Rather is used to express something more accurately)

In British English it can mean "most definitely", when you wish to reply to someone with an emphatic affirmative.

Hope this helps!
Caroline
I'm new here and I like it ;-)
Caroline Binda

Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 23
Location: United States

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