English Grammar and Exercises for ESL learners.
FEW - L ITTLE
(few - fewer - fewest / little - less - least)
♦ Few means 'not many'. → Few questions were asked at the meeting.
♦ Little means 'not much'. → Little attention was paid to comfort.
The comparative forms are :
♦ Fewer (than) : → Fewer than 50 brochures were distributed.
♦ Less (than) : → Less money was spent on advertising than last year.
The superlative forms are :
♦ The fewest : → In December we received the fewest number of enquiries ever.
♦ The least : → This car is the least expensive of all the models on show.
Few-fewer-fewest are used with countable nouns (1 melon, 2 melons ...).
♦ Few readers noticed the advertisement.
♦ There are fewer customers in the shops today than yesterday.
♦ Maria made the fewest mistakes in the English test.
Little-less-least are used with uncountable nouns (milk, cheese, money, homework...).
♦ Little attention was paid to the warning sign.
♦ Alex earns less money than Julia.
♦ The youngest pupils were given the least homework.
|Few||Not many/not a lot||
There are few melons
in the shop today.
We don't have much choice.
|Fewer||Not as many.||The
supermarket has fewer
melons than the
|Fewest||The smallest number||The shop has the fewest melons today.|
|Little||Not much/not a lot||There is
milk left in the jug.
Is there enough for breakfast?
|Less||Not as much||We bought less milk yesterday than today.|
|Least||The smallest quantity.||The eldest child drinks the least milk.|
little have a positive meaning.
See also: countable and plural nouns