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  1. #1
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default "only few" or "only a few"

    Dear teachers,

    Would you please tell me if "only + few" is possible in English or should it be "only + a few" ?

    example : a) Although many qualify, only few homeless people get Social Security benefits.
    b) Although many qualify, only a few homeless people get Social Security benefits.

    Are the two sentences above correct ?

    Thank you for your help.
    Hela

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: "only few" or "only a few"

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you please tell me if "only + few" is possible in English or should it be "only + a few" ?

    example : a) Although many qualify, only few homeless people get Social Security benefits.
    b) Although many qualify, only a few homeless people get Social Security benefits.

    Are the two sentences above correct ?

    Thank you for your help.
    Hela
    b) is correct.
    a) would be correct if you removed "only".

    Although many qualify, only a few claim.
    Although many qualify, few claim.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: "only few" or "only a few"

    Thank you emsr2d2

  4. #4
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: "only few" or "only a few"

    Would it be possible to replace "a few" by "some" ? Would the meaning be different ?

    "Although many qualify, only a few / only some homeless people get Social Security benefits."

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: "only few" or "only a few"

    'A few' has, very roughly, a similar meaning to 'some'.
    'Few' has, roughly' a similar meaning to 'not many'.

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