# Thread: few / a few

1. ## few / a few

Dear Sirs,
What is the diffirence between few and a few?
Regards,

2. ## Re: few / a few

Same difference as "dog" and "a dog" & "man" and "a man"
e.g.

a) Dog and cat fight.
b) I have a dog and a cat.

c) Man is mentally superior to other animals.
d) A man is physically stronger than a woman.

e) Few, if any, can endure extreme temperatures.
f) Almost everyone hopes to win the lottery but, unfortunately, it is won by only a few.

3. ## Re: few / a few

In the Internet I found the following difference, please comment.
Regards,
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There is an important difference between a few and few. Few without a is used to mean we don't have enough of something. For example:
- She has few apples in the refridgerator. (She doesn't have enough apples).
- She has a few apples in the refridgerator. (She has a small quantity of apples)

Put another way, "a few" means "a small quantity", but "few" means "not a big quantity" For example:
- A few friends came to my party. This is a positive idea, I'm happy a few people came./
- Few friends came to my party. This is a negative idea, I'm not happy because not many people came.
Notice how "a few" focuses on how many people did come, but "few" focuses on how many didn't come.

In sum, A few means a small quantity - few means not a big quantity

4. ## Re: few / a few

A few means a small quantity - few means not a big quantity
Same logic as "Half-empty bottle or half-full bottle". Considering it to be positive or negative will depend on whether you expected the bottle to be full or empty in the first place, but remember, the volume in the bottle is still the same in either case!

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