few, a few, little, a little?

Which one is grammatically correct?

1. a few people

2. few people

3. little people

4. a little people

9 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    The meanings are quite different.  

    "a few"- means some.  "A few people in the room are wearing masks."

    "few" by itself is a negative. It usually means the number is smaller than the speaker would like. "Few people have enough sense to protect themselves against COVID."

    "People" is a countable noun. If you are talking about the number of people, use "few" or "a few", depending on the meaning you intend. 

    "little people" means small people. It's a term now used instead of "midgets" or "dwarves." 

    There's no specific number implied. If you're talking about the total population of the US, you can say "A few voters are undecided." That could mean several hundred thousand. 

  • 1 month ago

    FEW people--means not a lot of people. 

    A FEW people--means the same thing--not a lot of people.

    LITTLE PEOPLE means the people are all of a diminutive size. It does not refer to the number of people, it refers to their stature. A LITTLE PEOPLE means the same.

    When you are referring to the number of persons present you would say there are FEW people there, or there are FEWER people there than (some previous time.) 

    You can also say there are a SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE, but you don't say there are SMALL PEOPLE unless you are referring to the peoples' sizes. 

  • 1 month ago

    They are ALL grammatically correct but mean quite different things and would be used very differently.

    1. The band didn't expect many people would come to hear them, but in fact a few people did come. = Not a lot of people, but more than they expected; this is positive.2. The band hoped that a lot of people would come to hear them, but in fact few people came.  = Very few, hardly anybody. This is negative.

    3, My mother always told us, "Little people should be in bed by 7 pm".  = This means children.4, The early inhabitants of some islands in Indonesia were a little people. = The people were very short and small.

    I suspect you want to use "a few' or "few" and are not sure which to choose. As my examples show, "a few" suggests a satisfactory number, even if it wasn't large, but "few' suggests an unsatisfactory number, regardless of what the actual numbers were.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    What is the context?  There is a difference--for example, one could write 'A few people were affected by the new law.'  If 'few' people were affected by the new law, it is less specific to the point of meaning that the new law hardly affected anyone.

    'Little people' means people who are small, and 'a little people' makes no sense in any context.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Use few for countable things (like people), little for anything else like hope or chance. Fewer is supposed only to be used when discussing countable things, while less is used for singular mass nouns. For example, you can have fewer ingredients, dollars, people, or puppies, but less salt, money, honesty, or love. Little people doesn't really make sense unless you happen to be Norma Desmond, are referring to Toulouse Lautrec or talking about Pygmies.

  • 1 month ago

    All may be grammatically correct under some circumstances, though they may not mean what you think they mean.

    "Little people" is the currently correct term for people of unusually short stature.

    "A little people" may refer to a small culture, though it would not be a preferred form.

    "A few people" and "Few people" are functionally the same, but "few people" may have a more negative connotation.

  • RP
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Either of the first two could be correct, depending upon context and compatibility. Neither of the last two is correct.

  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    "A few" is a countable of around three typically. "A few" is especially meaning around three. "Few" means a lower number than what would be expected, generally substantially lower. "Little" is about size. "A little people" is wrong grammar.

    Little people are small people or short people. 

    The word "fish" is better to use as an example.

    A few fish were in the fish tank. = Three to five fish were in the fish tank.

    Few fish were in the fish tank. = In a tank this large we expect to see many fish, but there are not many fish in the tank. It seems almost empty.

    Little fish were in the tank. = Small size fish were in the tank.

    A little fish was in the tank. = One small fish was in the tank.

    "People" is plural. "fish" can be singular or plural. 

  • 1 month ago

    Depends on the context, but 3 of the 4 are technically correct. Eg: a few people are flying kites. Few people know tomatoes are actually bad for you if trying to lose weight. "midgets" prefer to be called little people 

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