[English] A little / a few and little/few

(a) little은 (a) little + 불가산(uncountable) 명사로 쓴다.(a) little + uncountable noun

  • (a) little water
  • (a) little money
  • (a) little time
  • (a) little soup

(a) few는 (a) few + 복수형(plural) 명사로 쓴다. (a) few + plural noun

  • (a) few books
  • (a) few questions
  • (a) few people
  • (a) few days

a little은 조금 그러나 많지는 않은. a little = some but not much

  • She didn’t eat anything, but she drank a little water.
  • I speak a little Spanish. (= some Spanish but not much)
  • A: Can you speak Spanish?
    B: A little.

a few는 조금 그러나 많지는 않은. a few = some but not much

  • Last night I wrote a few letters.
  • We’re going away for a few days.
  • I speak a few words of Spanish.
  • A: Do you have any stamps?
    B: A few. Do you want one?

(a 없는) little은 거의 아닌 혹은 거의 없는. a little (without a) = almost no or almost nothing

  • There was little food in the fridge. It was almost empty.

very little을 쓸 수 있다. You can say very little.

  • Dan is very thin because he eats very little. (= almost nothing)

(a 없는) few는 거의 없는. a few (without a) = almost no

  • There were few people in the theater. It was almost empty.

very few를 쓸 수 있다. You can say very few.

  • Your English is very good. You make very few mistakes.

little and a little

A little은 긍정적인 느낌이다. A little is a positive idea. 🙂

  • They have a little money, but they’re not rich. (= they have some money)

Little (또는 very little)은 부정적인 느낌이다. Little (or very little) is a negative idea. 🙁

  • They are very poor. They have (very) little money. (= almost no money)

few and a few

A few는 긍정적인 느낌이다. A few is a positive idea. 🙂

  • I have a few friends, so I’m not lonely. (= I have some friends)

Few (or very few)는 부정적인 느낌이다. Few (or very few) is a negative idea. 🙁

  • I’m sad and I’m lonely. I have (very) few friends. (= almost no friends)

[English] A lot, much, and many

a lot of money, not much money, a lot of books, not many books

much는 much + 불가산 명사(uncountable noun) 형태로 사용한다. We use much + uncountable noun (much food / much money, etc.).

  • Did you buy much food?
  • We don’t have much luggage.
  • How much money do you want?
  • A: Have you got any money?
    B: I’ve got some but not much.

many는 many + 복수형(plural) noun 형태로 사용한다. We use many + plural noun (many books / many people, etc.)

  • Did you buy many books?
  • We don’t know many people.
  • How many pictures did you take?
  • A: Did you take any pictures?
    B: I took some but not many.

a lot of는 a lot of + 둘 모두와 같은 종류의 명사에 사용할 수 있다. We use a lot of + both kinds of noun.

  • We bought a lot of food.
  • We bought a lot of books.
  • Paula doesn’t have a lot of free time.
  • Did they ask you a lot of questions?

다음처럼 말함에 유의하자. Note that we say:

  • There is a lot of food/money/water. (singular verb)
  • There are a lot of trees/stores/people. (plural verb)
  • A lot of people like soccer. (not likes)

much는 질문과 부정적인 문장에 쓴다. We use much in questions and negative sentenses.

  • Do you drink much coffee?
  • I don’t drink much coffee.

그러나 much를 긍정적인 문장에는 잘 쓰지 않는다. But we do not often use much in positive sentences.

  • I drink a lot of coffee. (not I drink much coffee)
  • ”Do you drink much coffee?” “Yes, a lot.” (not Yes, much)

manya lot of는 모든 종류의 문장에 쓴다. We use many and a lot of in all kinds of sentences (question/positive/negative).

  • Do you have many friends / a lot of friends?
  • We have many friends / a lot of friends.
  • We don’t have many friends / a lot of friends.

명사 없이 mucha lot of를 쓰기도 한다. much and a lot of without a noun.

  • Diane spoke to me, but she didn’t say much.
  • ”Do you watch TV much?” “No, not much.” (= not often)
  • We like films, so we go to the movies a lot. (not much)
  • I don’t like him very much.