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  1. Roselin's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Sep 2008
    • Posts: 2,641
    #1

    few/ a few

    Are the following sentences correct ?

    1. Put a little sugar in my tea.

    2. Put little sugar in my tea.

    3. There are a few oranges left in the plate.

    4. There are few oranges left in the plate.

    If all of them are correct then what's the difference between a little sugar and little sugar , similary between few oranges and a few oranges ?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 1,211
    #2

    Re: few/ a few

    1. Put a little sugar in my tea.
    I understand this one perfectly. All clear.


    2. Put little sugar in my tea.

    This is a bit oddly constructed but means "You better not put very much sugar in my tea!" Or, if it were "I put little sugar in my tea" it means that I don't use much sugar.

    3. There are a few oranges left in the plate.
    Perfectly clear. There are three or four oranges, probably. Help yourself! They would be "on" a plate, or "in" a bowl, however. Things are "on" flat surfaces and "in" containers or bowls.

    4. There are few oranges left in the plate.
    This sounds like a complaint. I wish there were more but there are few. There used to be a whole pile of them, but now, alas, they are almost gone. Get out there and pick some more!

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