(A) little и (a) few


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
Little + неисчисляемое существительное Few + существительное со множественном числе

Little and A little

Сравнение a little и little
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)

Few and A few

Сравнение a few и few
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.