You are here

Countable and uncountable nouns 2

Do you know how to use a few, few, very little and a bit of?

Look at these examples to see how these quantifiers are used with countable and uncountable nouns.

I have a few friends, so I'm not lonely.
She has few friends, so she's quite lonely.
We've got a bit of time before our train. Shall we get a coffee?
We've got very little time before our train. Hurry up!

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Countable and uncountable nouns 2: Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

A few and a bit of or a little mean some. Often we feel this amount is enough or more than we expected. We use a few with plural nouns and a bit of or a little with uncountable nouns.

I have a few ideas.
I've brought a few friends.
There's a bit of milk left.
It needs a little more work.

We use few and very little to show that we are talking about a small amount. Often we feel this amount is not enough or less than we expected. Few is for countable nouns and very little is for uncountable nouns.

Few people came to the meeting.
There are few places where you can still see these birds.
We have very little time.
I have very little money.

Note that you can use little without very, but it is less common and sounds quite formal.

She had little water.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Countable and uncountable nouns 2: Grammar test 2

Language level

Beginner: A1
Pre-intermediate: A2


Can I write as “There are a few differences”?

Thank you
Zuu Kyarr Wan, English learner

Hello Zuu kyarr wan,

Yes, that's perfectly fine. You can also use 'few' without 'a', but the meaning is a little different:

There are a few differences = there are some

There are few differences = there are not many/I think there is only a small number



The LearnEnglish Team

Brilliant learning Web, thanks so much.

Hi there,

I found this sentence "Shall we get a coffee?". As I know "coffee" is an uncountable noun so why we use "a coffee"?


Well detailed , however. I still don't understand the difference between "a few" and "few",
Thank's for advance for youre answer.

Hello hamzahh,

Sometimes grammars say that 'a few' has a positive or optimistic meaning and 'few' has a more negative or pessimistic meaning. For example, if I say I have a few friends, it suggests that I'm happy with the number of friends I have. But if I say I have few friends, it suggests that I wish I had more friends than I do.

Does that help you make more sense of it?

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir
why there is need to revise grammer time to time

Hello Ethan hunt

There are many reasons, but one is that most of us often only partially understand what we learn at the time we learn it. As we encounter and practise using grammar, we often discover new aspects to it.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

useful information