Meaning of FEW in English
/ fjuː; NAmE / determiner , adjective , pronoun
■ determiner , adjective ( fewer , few·est )
used with plural nouns and a plural verb to mean 'not many' :
Few people understand the difference.
There seem to be fewer tourists around this year.
Very few students learn Latin now.
(usually a few ) used with plural nouns and a plural verb to mean 'a small number', 'some' :
We've had a few replies.
I need a few things from the store.
Quite a few people are going to arrive early.
I try to visit my parents every few weeks .
- few and far between
not many people, things or places :
Very few of his books are worth reading.
You can pass with as few as 25 points.
( formal )
Few will argue with this conclusion.
a few a small number of people, things or places; some :
I recognized a few of the other people.
I've seen most of his movies. Only a few are as good as his first one.
Could you give me a few more details?
fewer not as many as :
Fewer than 20 students passed all the exams.
There are no fewer than 100 different species in the area.
HELP NOTE : Look at the note at less .
the few used with a plural verb to mean 'a small group of people' :
Real power belongs to the few.
She was one of the chosen few (= the small group with special rights) .
- quite a few
- have had a few
Old English fēawe , fēawa , of Germanic origin; related to Old High German fao , from an Indo-European root shared by Latin paucus and Greek pauros small.
Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary. Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне. 2005