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    #1

    few/a few/the few

    I would like to know the difference of few, a few and the few.

    1. For few of you that have yet to place their order, I wanted to write you to say that time is almost up.

    2. For a few of you that have yet to place their order, I wanted to write you to say that time is almost up.

    3. For the few of you that have yet to place their order, I wanted to write you to say that time is almost up

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: few/a few/the few

    Quote Originally Posted by wowenglish1 View Post
    I would like to know the difference of few, a few and the few.

    1. For few of you that have yet to place their order, I wanted to write you to say that time is almost up.

    2. For a few of you that have yet to place their order, I wanted to write you to say that time is almost up.

    3. For the few of you that have yet to place their order, I wanted to write you to say that time is almost up
    1. This doesn't read quite naturally. It's unlikely that you will encounter this.

    2. This says that there is a group of people who have not yet ordered, and there are a few of them for whom time is almost up. I don't know why it's not up for the others who have not yet ordered, but for these few, it is.

    3. This is the most likely. Most people have ordered, but there is a small group (the few) who have not yet ordered, and they better hurry it up!

    {not a teacher}

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    #3

    Exclamation Re: few/a few/the few

    I think the third sentence where the few (identifiable small mass in a big mass) is used, is the most appropriate. Use of a few may be ok( a small quantity or number)but few (not enough in quantity or number) does not go well with the sentence.


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
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    #4

    Re: few/a few/the few

    Quote Originally Posted by wowenglish1 View Post
    I would like to know the difference of few, a few and the few.

    1. For few of you that have yet to place their order, I wanted to write you to say that time is almost up.

    2. For a few of you that have yet to place their order, I wanted to write you to say that time is almost up.

    3. For the few of you that have yet to place their order, I wanted to write you to say that time is almost up
    In this sentence, few is a pronoun. When a noun or pronoun is followed by a phrase beginning with of or a relative clause, then you place the before it. In your sentence, you have both an of phrase following few and a relative clause following it (that have yet to place their order). That is why your third sentence is the correct one.

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