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A2 Topics

(A) little, (a) few – A2, some

a little

I have a little money.

There’s a little milk in the fridge.

There’s a little water in the bottle.

=> ‘a little’ = some (but not much)

=> Use ‘a little’ before words like ‘milk’ that don’t use an ‘-s’ at the end.

a few

There are a few flowers in the garden.

There are a few carrots in the fridge.

There are a few bananas in the bowl.

=> ‘a few’ = some (but not many)

=> Use ‘a few’ before words like ‘bananas’ that do use an ‘-s’ at the end.

little

There’s little rain in Chile.

There’s little food in the house.

There’s little sun in Scotland in the winter.

=> ‘Little’ is less than ‘a little’.

=> Use ‘little’ before words like ‘milk’.

few

There were few cars on the roads in the 1950’s.

We sell few CDs now.

There are few lions in India now.

=> ‘Few’ is less than ‘a few’.

=> Use ‘few’ before words like ‘bananas’.

Look out!

LOOK OUT! Do not say/write this!

Wrong: We played a few game (NO!) of football.

Correct: We played a few games of football.

Think before you speak/write: after ‘few’/ ‘a few’, put an ‘s’ after the next word.

Don’t forget!

not much => ‘a little’ + words like ‘milk’ 

not many => ‘a few’ + words like ‘bananas’

less than ‘a little’ => ‘little’ + words like ‘milk’

less than ‘a few’ => ‘few’ + words like ‘bananas’

a

A cola, please.

I have a Mercedes.

Do you have a flat?

He has a friend in London.

Is there a cinema in your town?

  • ‘a’ = only one
  • Use ‘a’ with words like ‘flat’, ‘friend’, ‘cinema’ (count nouns)

 

some

There’s some milk in the fridge.

It’s so hot! I need some water!

I need to buy some petrol.

Here’s some money for your holiday.

Put some salt in the omelette.

  • ‘some’ = a quantity (how much isn’t important)
  • Use ‘some’ with words like ‘milk’, water’, ‘petrol’ (noncount nouns)

 

Look out!

LOOK OUT! Do not say/write this!

I’m reading book about Donald Trump.

Correct: I’m reading a book about Donald Trump.

Use ‘’a’ before words like ‘car’, ‘flat, and ‘friend’.

Don’t forget!

Only one => ‘a’ + words like ‘friend’

A quantity (how much isn’t important) => ‘some’ + words like ‘milk’

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