Meaning of FEW in English

FEW

(~er, ~est)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

1.

You use a ~ to indicate that you are talking about a small number of people or things. You can also say a very ~.

I gave a dinner party for a ~ close friends...

Here are a ~ more ideas to consider...

She was silent for a ~ seconds.

DET: DET pl-n

Few is also a pronoun.

Doctors work an average of 90 hours a week, while a ~ are on call for up to 120 hours...

A strict diet is appropriate for only a ~.

PRON

Few is also a quantifier.

There are many ways eggs can be prepared; here are a ~ of them.

...a little tea-party I’m giving for a ~ of the teachers.

QUANT: QUANT of def-pl-n

2.

You use ~ after adjectives and determiners to indicate that you are talking about a small number of things or people.

The past ~ weeks of her life had been the most pleasant she could remember...

...in the last ~ chapters...

A train would pass through there every ~ minutes at that time of day.

ADJ: adj/det ADJ n

3.

You use ~ to indicate that you are talking about a small number of people or things. You can use ‘so’, ‘too’ and ‘very’ in front of ~.

She had ~ friends, and was generally not very happy...

Few members planned to vote for him...

Very ~ firms collect the tax, even when they’re required to do so by law.

? many

DET: DET pl-n

Few is also a pronoun.

The trouble is that ~ want to buy, despite the knockdown prices on offer.

...a true singing and songwriting talent that ~ suspected.

PRON

Few is also a quantifier.

Few of the volunteers had military experience.

QUANT: QUANT of def-pl-n

Few is also an adjective.

...spending her ~ waking hours in front of the TV...

His memories of his father are ~.

ADJ

4.

The ~ means a small set of people considered as separate from the majority, especially because they share a particular opportunity or quality that the others do not have.

This should not be an experience for the ~.

...a system built on academic excellence for the ~.

N-SING: the N

5.

You use as ~ as before a number to suggest that it is surprisingly small.

One study showed that even as ~ as ten cigarettes a day can damage fertility...

PHRASE: PHR num emphasis

6.

Things that are ~ and far between are very rare or do not happen very often.

In this economic climate new ideas were ~ and far between.

= rare

PHRASE: v-link PHR emphasis

7.

You use no ~er than to emphasize that a number is surprisingly large.

No ~er than thirteen foreign ministers attended the session.

PHRASE: PHR num emphasis

Collins COBUILD.      Толковый словарь английского языка для изучающих язык Коллинз COBUILD (международная база данных языков Бирмингемского университета) .