a few

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English[edit]

Determiner[edit]

a few

  1. A small number of. Not zero but more than two.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall, The Squire's Daughter, chapterII:
      "I don't want to spoil any comparison you are going to make," said Jim, "but I was at Winchester and New College." ¶ "That will do," said Mackenzie. "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. Then I ran away and sold papers in the streets, and anything else that I could pick up a few coppers by—except steal. []"

Translations[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

a few

  1. A small number of things
    Regrets, I've had a few, but then again too few to mention.

Translations[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

A few and few without a differ in emphasis. Few emphasizes that the number is not as large as expected, while a few emphasizes the fact that the number, while small, is not zero but more than two.

Compare:

I was expecting lots of people at the party, but few turned up.
I wasn't expecting any young people at the party, but a few turned up.

Derived terms[edit]