Few, a few, little, a little

Few a few, little / a little are quantifiers. Here is how to use them correctly:

Few / a few
A few is more than few.
We use a few and few + a plural countable noun. few people, few books, few letters
a few people, a few books, a few letters
A few is a positive idea.
Fortunately, our financial situation is good: we still have a few good customers.
Few is a negative idea.
It means 'almost none'.
We can also use very few.
I'm very sad: I have few good friends.
I'm very sad: I have very few good friends.
(Both these sentences mean I don't have many good friends - I would like to have more.)
A few and few have irregular comparative and superlative forms. few - fewer - the fewest
a few - more - the most

Little / a little
A little is more than little.
We use a little and little + an uncountable noun.
a little time, a little food, a little money
little time, little food, little money
A little is a positive idea.
It means 'some but not much'.
Compare:
I can help you: I speak a little English.
Little is a negative idea.
It means 'nearly none, nearly nothing'.
We can also use very little.
I can't help you. I speak little English.
I can't help you. I speak very little English.
(Both these sentences mean My English is bad. I would like to speak English better.)
A little and little have irregular comparative and superlative forms. little - less - the least
a little - more - the most

test_inter4 Practise this grammar (intermediate level): Few, a few, fewer, little, a little, less – exercise