The Difference Between Little & Few - English Confusion Lesson

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In this lesson, we will tell you how to use the words little and few in a conversation.


Thomas: Little and few are used to talk about things which are less in amount.

Eva: That’s right, they often speak of things which are not sufficient.

Thomas: However, there are differences in the conditions when we use them.

Eva: Little is used to speak of something which cannot be counted in numbers. For example: I have little money in my pocket. We cannot count money by numbers. We can count dollars, not money.

Thomas: Few is used when we speak of something which can be counted in numbers. For example: I have few friends who live in New York. Here the number of friends can be counted.

Eva: That’s correct, here goes another example: Check out if a little honey is left in the few bottles over there. Here, honey cannot be counted but the number of bottles can be counted.

Thomas: Thank you Eva, let’s go through some conversations to learn more.

Conversation: #1

Peter: Hello, would you drop me at the station?

Taxi Driver: Sir, the station is just a little distance from here. Very few people would take a taxi.

Peter : I have little time left for my meeting, mate! So could you drop me there?

Taxi Driver : Sure sir. Please get in, I will get you there in a few minutes.

Peter : Thank you. I will give you a little tip at the end for your trouble.

Taxi Driver : No problem. It’s very little trouble.

Conversation: #2

Mandi: Hey Peter, when did you arrive?

Peter: Just a few hours back. How are you, Mandi?

Mandi: I am a little worried, I had a terrible headache last night.

Peter: That’s not a big deal. Few people worry about headaches.

Mandi: That is right. I shouldn’t be worried at all. How was your trip?

Peter: It was fantastic! But there were a few surprises.

Mandi: Alright, let’s talk all about it in the evening. I am in a little hurry right now.

Peter: That would be great Mandi. See you in the evening!

Conversation: #3

Mandi: Doctor, I think the medicine is not working. I had that headache again last night.

Doctor: Don’t worry Mandi. The medicine will take a few days to work in your case.

Mandi: Can you consider changing it? I think it has little chance of working. The headache was terrible.

Doctor: It’s not a good idea to change medicine like that. Let’s get a few tests done first.

Mandi: Alright doc. What do you suggest?

Doctor: Come into my office this evening Mandi. I will give you more details. It will take just a little time.

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