Difference between ‘few’ and ‘a few’?

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When can I say ‘few’ or ‘a few’?

few - a few

‘I have A FEW books’ expresses a positive idea – I’m happy with the situation.

[Tweet “‘I have A FEW books’ expresses a positive idea – I’m happy with the situation.”]
‘I have FEW books’ expresses a negative idea – I’m not happy with the situation, I do NOT have ENOUGH books.

[Tweet “‘I have FEW books’ expresses a negative idea – I’m not happy with the situation, I do NOT have ENOUGH books.”]

Here’s an example:

  • “I have a few friends.” (and it’s OK with me)
  • “I have few friends.” (and I’m lonely)

Read more:
Fewer vs Less with 17 Examples
How to Learn English if You Have Very Short Time?
English Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking Test

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