Difference between Little and Few | Little vs Few

You might have heard that ‘little’ or ‘few’ is used to denote things in small amounts. But do these two words hold the same meaning? This article will cover all these essential points that’s necessary to understand whether there’s any difference between these two words. English Language contains various words that people often confuse, so it’s essential to know how or when to use them.

Since both the words ‘little’ and ‘few’ are used to denote things in small amounts, people often use them interchangeably without understanding the context. So mostly, people end up using it in the wrong way. This article will make sure that you understand when and how to use these words.

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

Please add a little sugar to the coffee.

There were few boys in the class.

This table shows that ‘little’ and ‘few’ though are related to denote things in small quantities, yet they aren’t the same thing and can’t be used synonymously. Most people get confused between these words, but it’s essential that they understand the context they are using it in. Only then can they use these terms correctly.

The Difference between Little and Few – Meaning

Though ‘little’ and ‘few’ are used to refer to things in small quantities, they can’t be used interchangeably. Little is used to denote things in less quantity but are uncountable in nature. Little can be used as an adjective, pronoun and adverb. For example, “The little girl danced so gracefully.” Here, the word ‘little’ is used as an adjective. Another example is “Please add a little salt to the food.” Here, the word ‘little’ is used as a pronoun. Finally, in the example, “The poet was little known in his country.” Here, ‘little’ is used as an adverb. The word ‘few’, on the other hand, is used to describe the lesser quantities of something that’s countable in nature. The word ‘few’ is mainly used with plural nouns. For example, “There were few people in the hall.” Here, ‘few’ is used as an adjective.

Example of Little and Few

The following example will help students to better understand the terms ‘little’ and ‘few’.

Little – There was very little water in the pond.

Few – Few people are standing outside your house.

Once students understand the meaning of the words ‘little’ and ‘few’, they can quickly form examples on their own.

Little and Few – Conclusion

To sum up, ‘little’ and ‘few’ are not synonymous and can’t be used interchangeably. When one is using these words, one has to understand the context or will end up misusing them. This article talks about the essential points that help one to know how to use these two terms. BYJU’S offers many such ‘differences between two words’ that people often get confused with.

Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*