few

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UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈfjuː/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/fyu/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(fyo̅o̅)


Inflections of 'few' (adjadjective: Describes a noun or pronoun--for example, "a tall girl," "an interesting book," "a big house."):
fewer
adj comparative
fewest
adj superlative
WordReference Collins English Usage © 2020
few - a few
used in front of nouns
Few and a few are both used in front of nouns, but they do not have the same meaning. You use a few simply to show that you are talking about a small number of people or things.
I'm having a dinner party for a few close friends.
Here are a few ideas that might help you.
When you use few without ‘a’, you are emphasizing that there are only a small number of people or things of a particular kind. So, for example, if you say ‘I have a few friends’, you are simply saying that you have some friends. However, if you say ‘I have few friends’, you are saying that you do not have enough friends and are lonely.
There were few resources available.
used as pronouns
Few and a few can be used in a similar way as pronouns.
Doctors work an average of 90 hours a week, while a few work up to 120 hours.
Many were invited but few came.
‘not many’
In conversation and in less formal writing, people don't usually use few without ‘a’. Instead they use not many. For example, instead of saying ‘I have few friends’, people usually say ‘I haven’t got many friends' or ‘I don’t have many friends'.
They haven't got many books.
I don't have many visitors.
Be careful
Don't use ‘few’ or ‘a few’ when you are talking about a small amount of something. Don't say, for example, ‘Would you like a few more milk in your tea?’ You say ‘Would you like a little more milk in your tea?’
'few' also found in these entries:
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