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English definition of “few”

few

determiner, pronoun (SOME)    /fjuː/
a few A2 some, or a small number of something: I need to get a few things in town . There are a few cakes left over from the party . We've been having a few problems with the new computer . If you can't fit all the cases in your car , I can take a few in mine. "How many potatoes do you want ?" "Oh, just a few, please ." Note: A few is used with countable nouns. Compare small.Small in number and quantity A2 used in expressions such as " quite a few" or "a good few" to mean " quite a large number ": I know quite a few people who have had the same problem . Lots of people at the club are under 20, but there are a good few who aren't.Masses and large amounts of things Grammar:Little, a little, few, a few(A) little and (a) few are quantifiers meaning ‘some’. Little and few have negative meanings. We use them to mean ‘not as much as may be expected or wished for’.Grammar:A little, a few with a nounWe use a little with singular uncountable nouns. We use a few with plural countable nouns:Grammar:Little, few with a nounWe use little with uncountable nouns. We use few with plural countable nouns. They are used in formal contexts:Grammar:(A) little, (a) few without a nounWe can use (a) little and (a) few as pronouns. We can use them to substitute for a noun when it is obvious from the context:Grammar:(A) little of, (a) few ofWe use of with (a) little and (a) few when they come before articles (a/an, the), demonstratives (this, that), possessives (my, your) or pronouns (him, them):Grammar:A little: adverbWe use a little as an adverb of degree. It is more formal than a bit:Grammar:A little with adjectives, determiners, adverbsWe use a little before adjectives and adverbs to modify them. It is more formal than a bit:Grammar:Little: adjectiveWe use little as an adjective to mean ‘small’:
(Definition of few determinerpronoun (SOME) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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