|a little water||a few flowers|
|(a) little + uncountable noun||(a) few + plural noun|
|(a) little water, (a) little money, (a) little time||(a) few flowers, (a) few people, (a) few cars|
|a little is a positive idea||little is a negative idea|
|He has a little money, so they’re not poor.
(he has some money)
|He has little money, so they’re poor.
(he has nearly no money)
|a few is a positive idea||few is a negative idea|
|She’s got a few friends, so he isn’t lonely.
(he’s got some friends)
|He’s got few friends, so he is lonely.
(he’s got nearly no friends)
A little = some but not much
I speak a little German.
Can you speak French? – A little.
She didn’t eat her breakfast, just drank a little coffee.
A few = some but not many
I have got a few emails.
I speak a few words of French.
Are there any good restaurants in town? – Yes, a few.
Little (without a) = nearly no or nearly nothing. We can also say very little.
There was little salt in the soup. It was bland.
I’m in a terrible hurry! I’ve got very little time before the meeting.
Few (without a) = nearly no. We can also say very few.
There are few cars in the car park. It is nearly empty.
He’s lonely. He’s got very few friends.