student asking question

What's the difference between "few" and "a few"?

teacher

Native speaker’s answer

Rebecca

"Few" people or things means 'not many' of them, whereas "a few" means 'some' people or things. So, one could look at it as negative or positive, depending on which you want to emphasise. Sometimes when "a few" is at the beginning of a sentence, the "a" could be omitted in casual conversation. Ex: In our school, few people are interested in the idea of a camping trip. => not many people = In our school, a few people are interested in the idea of a camping trip. => some people Ex: Few things you should know: the cafe opens at ten, so be here at nine. => omitted "a" Ex: There are very few supplies in the cupboard => not a lot of supplies = There are a few supplies in the cupboard. => some supplies

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