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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #124861: Small quantities: little - a little - few - a few
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Frequent mistakes | Quantities [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Placement test beginners: Check your spelling - Past simple or present perfect - Placement test 1 - Countable or Uncountable? - Some / Any / Much / Many - Although / in spite of / despite - Some and any - Again/ back
    > Double-click on words you don't understand


    Small quantities: little - a little - few - a few


    Students usually understand and use the expression of a big quantity quite easily: MUCH + uncountable noun in the singular // MANY + countable noun in the plural. Yet, a problem rises when it comes to expressing little quantities... The rules seem to be well-known, but aren't applied correctly, or not applied at all... We're going to see them again here today... 

     

     

    I) LITTLE is placed before an uncountable noun in the singular: = LITTLE: is a little/ too little, insufficient quantity. 

    - The beggar had little money and couldn't afford to buy food. 

    II) FEW is placed before a countable noun in the plural.  (represents a little/ too little number of objects or people.)

    - As he has only few friends, he can't hope to receive any help...

     

        


    III) HARDLY any = little or few - depending on the following nouns.  
    (The verb is in the affirmative form) 

    - There's hardly any petrol left. We'll have to stop to fill up the tank. 

    IV) A LITTLE + uncountable noun in the singular; it represents a LITTLE QUANTITY of...  
    - I like a little milk with my tea, whereas Pam has it with lemon.


    V) A FEW + countable in the plural: a small number or amount. like for SEVERAL, the verb after it is in the plural. 

    - Several students had come, but a few of them were missing. 

     

     
               

    VI) "COMPARISONS":


    * LESS... (THAN)+ uncountable in the singular. (LESS is the comparative form of LITTLE)
    - I have less water than he has... You should ask him to give you some. 

     

    * FEWER (THAN)+ countable noun in the plural (FEWER is the comparative form of FEW)
    - There were fewer people than usual listening to the politician's speech. 


    * SUCH A LITTLE QUANTITY,  a VERY SMALL QUANTITY: 
    - so little // so few...


    * AN INSUFFICIENT QUANTITY, or NUMBER of...: 
    - Too little.../ too few... 
                                          

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    English exercise "Small quantities: little - a little - few - a few" created by here4u with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from here4u]
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    1. 'This cake is already very sweet... no need to add sugar on top!'

    2. 'He’s so busy at the moment that he has time to read. That’s a pity!'

    3. Because of the heavy rain, people attended the open-air gathering.

    4. people can read or speak Latin and Ancient Greek nowadays.

    5. There are boys than girls in this class, but they are so restless that nobody can work harmoniously.

    This manager has very time to close the deal and employees to help him that he has to cancel the holiday he had planned.

    7. 'Oh dear! I’ve put chocolate when making the cake... It’s quite tasteless. I’m so disappointed.'

    8. ' students were really listening to what the teacher was announcing, and then, of course, in the end, they asked dozens of questions.'

    9. 'I’d like silence, please.I can’t work in such a noise.'

     

                                                                       

     

     








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