Few, A Few, Little, A little
Christopher M.
em 09 de Dezembro de 2019

A FEW / FEW / A LITTLE / LITTLE

These are 4 examples of expressions of quantity. Do you know how each one is used?

 

What is the difference in the following two phrases: 1) Since I moved to Brazil, I have made A FEW friends. Alternatively, 2) Since I moved to Brazil, I have made FEW friends. Do you know the difference?...

 

'A FEW' gives a positive idea it shows that something exists, is present, is added. By contrast 'FEW' gives a negative idea showing that something is absent, missing or less.

A few friends (alguns amigos) Few friends (poucos amigos)

A few and few are expressions of quantity used with count nouns which are in general expressed in plural form. For example: I have a few students. (Positive idea). Or My city has few parks. (Negative idea)

 

What about these two phrases. 1) I have saved 'A LITTLE' for my trip or 2) I have saved LITTLE money for my trip. What is the difference?...

The same is true for 'A LITTLE' and 'LITTLE'. A LITTLE: I have saved some money (guardei um pouco de dinheiro) LITTLE I do not have much money saved (pouco dinheiro). A little and little are expressions of quantity used with non count nouns which do not have plural form. For example: I usually drink a little wine with dinner, or I have little patience for telemarketers who call me at the dinner hour.

 

When we use FEW or LITTLE to express the negative idea, we may also emphasize it by using (very) in front of the expression of quantity. For example, Very FEW friends (muito poucos amigos) or Very LITTLE money (Muito pouco dinheiro).

 

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