Main Difference – Few vs Little
Few and little are two quantifiers that are commonly used. Although these two adjectives have similar meanings, there is a difference in their usage. The difference between few and little stems from the difference between countable and uncountable nouns; few is used with countable nouns whereas little is used with uncountable nouns. In other words, few is used with things that can be counted whereas little is used with substances that cannot be counted. This is the main difference between few and little.
This article explains,
- What Does Few Mean? – The Meaning, Usage, and Examples of the word Few
- What Does Little Mean? – The Meaning, Usage, and Examples of the word Little
- Difference Between Few and Little
What Does Few Mean
Few is always used with countable nouns and is used to refer to a small number of people or things. In other words, it is always used to describe things that can be counted. (e.g. sheep, friends, trees, flowers, books, students, etc.) You can understand the meaning and usage of few more clearly by observing the following examples.
He had few friends.
Can I ask you few questions?
They cut down few trees to build the cottage.
Few countries have the power to intervene in this affair.
This poor girl has few toys.
Few raised their voices against the injustice.
Although many people assume that few and a few have a similar meaning, there is a subtle difference between them. (Read the Difference Between Few and a Few)
What Does Little Mean
Little refers to a small amount. Little is always used with uncountable nouns. It is always used with substances or concepts – things that cannot be separated and counted. Some examples include water, sugar, help, information, flour, and advice.
We got little help from the government.
I sprinkled little water.
This necklace has no or little value.
There is a little sugar in the jar; you can use it.
He has little money, but it’s not enough to buy food.
She got very little sleep last night.
Little does not have the same meaning as a little, there is a difference between little and a little. (Read the Difference Between Little and a Little)
Difference Between Few and Little
Few is used with countable nouns.
Little is used with uncountable nouns.
Few refers to a small number.
Little refers to a small amount.
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