Determiners: Use of Little, a little,the little,few,a few, the few

Answers (1)

1- Little, a little, the little denote quantity. They are used before uncountable nouns. Few, a few, the few denote number. They are used before countable nouns in the plural number.

2- Little = hardly any. Little is used in the negative sense :

He has little money. (hardly any, no)

A little= at least some ( though not much)

I have a little money in my pocket. We can have chocolates.

The little= the whole quantity, though very little

The little money that I had in my pocket was not adequate to buy ice cream for the two of us.

3- Few = almost none. Like little,few is also used in the negative sense :

My grandparents are usually alone at home. They have few visitors.

A few = at least, some, though not many

It was the Diwali day. So a few family friends came to greet my grandparents.

The few = all of them, though very few :

The few friends who came to meet my grandparents had a gala time with them.

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