Words Often Confused – ‘Few’, ‘A Few’, and ‘The Few’

Use of few

The English language has a range of words that often confuse a new English language learner. Sometimes it may also be challenging for intermediate-level students. Because they may face such situation, I have published this lesson to help them understand the words that often confuse i.e, ‘Few’, ‘A Few’ and ‘The Few.’

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Use of ‘Few’

Use of a few in English
Few tablets are left.

Few’ means “Hardly any.”


Few people have homes in the village.

Few people are free from any disease.

Few children can avoid wandering off when their guardians are not available at home.

Few people survive the disaster.

Use of ‘A Few’

use of a few in English
A few berries are left.

‘A Few’ means ‘not many.’


A few students can solve this question.

They asked me a few questions in the interview.

He won the competition only a few weeks ago.

A few countries have atom bomb.

Use of ‘The Few’

The few books I had, all were stolen.

‘The Few’ means “not many but all there are.”


The few chairs I had, were shifted there.

The few clothes she had, all burnt in fire.

The few books he had, were stolen yesterday.

The few stocks we had, were distributed to poor.

Please note that the meaning of ‘few’ is positive while the meaning of both ‘a few’ and ‘the ‘few’ is positive.

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