English version


From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishfewfew /fjuː/ ●●● S1 W1 determiner, pronoun, adjective (comparative fewer, superlative fewest)  1 FEW/NOT MANY[no comparative] a small number of things or peoplea few I have to buy a few things at the supermarket. Pam called to say she’s going to be a few minutes late. There were a few people sitting at the back of the hall. There are a few more things I’d like to discuss.few of I’ve read a few of her books. I could suggest many different methods, but anyway, here are just a few. There are only a very few (=not many) exceptions.the last/next few The office has been closed for the last few days.every few days/weeks etc The plants need to be watered every few days.the/somebody’s few days/weeks etc She had enjoyed her few days in Monaco.2 quite a few/a good few/not a few3 ENOUGHnot many or hardly any people or things opp many low-paid jobs that few people want Many people expressed concern, but few were willing to help. The team that makes the fewest mistakes usually wins.few of Very few of the staff come from the local area. Mr Wingate was full of explanations, but precious few (=hardly any) of them made sense.the few The cathedral was one of the few buildings not destroyed in the war. This hospital is one of the few that are equipped to provide transplant surgery.somebody’s few belongings/friends etc I gathered together my few possessions.4 no fewer than5 as few as 5/10 etc6 to name/mention but a few7 the (privileged/chosen) few8 be few and far between9 have had a few (too many)GRAMMAR: Comparisona fewA few means ‘a small number, for example two or three people or things’.You use a few before plural nouns: A few people were waiting.He called me a few days later. You say a few of the: A few of the people were getting annoyed. Don’t say: A few of people were getting annoyed.You say a few of my/her/his etc or a few of them/us/you: A few of my friends came too.A few of us left early.fewFew means ‘not many or hardly any’. It emphasizes how small the number is. In formal English, you use few before plural nouns, without ‘a’: Few people knew he was ill.In everyday English, people usually say not many instead: Not many people knew he was ill.
Examples from the Corpus
every few days/weeks etcAt chains such as Hair Club for Men, rugs are glommed on to existing hair and must be adjusted every few weeks.He said groups of 10 to 15 intellectuals were executed every few days.Now we fasten pinecones to the dahlia sticks and shake them out every few days.So I started this route that I run every few days.This takes only a few minutes and should be done every few days.Recruitment advertisements on behalf of one licensed dealer or another used to appear every few weeks in London or the national press.However, households also paid sharply more for some items they bought every few days, such as gasoline and dairy products.The president's foes are vowing to hold large demonstrations every few days to keep pressure on Estrada to resign voluntarily.the fewIt was Jack Trumper, one of the few disreputable acquaintances of his Cambridge days.She was one of the few of the younger generation who took the time to take seriously a conference questionnaire.Is globalisation for the few or for the many, Prime Minister?Instead, George concentrated his efforts on the few remaining furry areas on an otherwise bare bear.Nevertheless, utility bonds are one of the few Southeastern sectors priced below national levels.Walking the few steps to the dressing table, she picked it up.It was one of the few times he and I talked.