Difference between 'Little' and 'Few' | Little vs Few

‘Little’ and ‘few’ are both words that denote measurements in small amounts, but do these two words hold the same meanings as well? This article will help you understand the meanings, usage and difference between the two.

Table of Contents

Table Summarising the Difference between ‘Little’ and ‘Few’

Little Few
Meaning The word ‘little’ is used to denote things in small quantities which are uncountable. The word ‘few’ is used to denote things that are countable in nature and less in number.
Usage It can be used as an adjective, pronoun and adverb. It can be used as an adjective, pronoun and noun.
Example I have little knowledge on astronomy. There were few boys in class.

Difference between ‘Little’ and ‘Few’ – Meanings and Usage

The word ‘little’ has multiple meanings – small in size, young, not important, not much and enough. When used as a noun or a pronoun, it means a small amount or something that is not enough, for example, ‘The little girl danced so gracefully.’ Here, the word ‘little’ is used as an adjective. Another example is, ‘Please add little salt to the food.’ Here, the word ‘little’ is used as a pronoun. In the example, ‘The poet was little known in his country.’ ‘little’ is used as an adverb.

The word ‘few’, on the other hand, means a small number of something – not many and not enough. It is mainly used with plural nouns, for example, ‘There were few people in the hall.’ Here, ‘few’ is used as an adjective.

Examples of ‘Little’ and ‘Few’

Go through the following examples to have a clear idea about how the words ‘little’ and ‘few’ are used:

  • There was very little water in the pond.
  • Little did they know that everything was about to change.
  • There are few clues to complete this puzzle.
  • Few people are standing outside your house.


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