few /fyu/USA pronunciation
adj., -er, -est,n., pron.
adj. [before a plural noun]
not many but more than one;
hardly any:Few artists live luxuriously.
[a + ~] some; several:A few artists did manage to live luxuriously.
used with a plural verb]
[a + ~] a small number or amount:Did everyone go home? No, a few were still waiting.
the few, a special, limited number; the minority:a concert that appeals to the few.
a small number of persons or things:Many are called, but few are chosen.
When few is used with a noun, the noun is plural:few speakers; a few speakers;
- Idiomsfew and far between, placed at widely separated intervals; not frequent or plentiful:Chances like this are few and far between.
- Idiomsquite a few, [before a plural noun] a fairly large number of;
many:He had quite a few girlfriends.
quite a few speakers.Note also the slight difference in meaning between few and a few. When few is used without a the meaning is "a small amount of;
not as many as expected'':Few learners can hope to speak Chinese perfectly.When a few is used, the meaning is more positive: "some, but not many'':A few learners can hope to speak Chinese perfectly.See little. In many grammar books, fewer and less are opposed. fewer should be used with plural count nouns:fewer books,while less is only to be used with noncount nouns:less money.In informal style, many speakers use less before plural nouns:less books,but never use fewer before noncount nouns; no one would say:fewer money.