little / few

little / few
Употребление местоимений-квантификаторов (a) little, (a) few.
1)
а) Местоимение (a) little сочетается с формой единственного числа существительных (обычно неисчисляемых: см. Countable and uncountable nouns):

He drank a little wine — Он выпил немного вина.

He had little interest in sport — Он мало интересовался спортом.

б) Местоимение (a) few сочетается с формой множественного числа существительных (обычно исчисляемых):

She bought a few apples — Она купила несколько/немного яблок.

Few people can play tennis perfectly — Немногие люди умеют играть в теннис в совершенстве.

2) Различия артиклевого и безартиклевого употребления.
а) Местоимения-квантификаторы little и few (без артикля) имеют обычно отрицательный оттенок и могут означать "меньше, чем нужно", "меньше, чем ожидалось" и т.п.

Few of us can say that they always say the truth. — Немногие из нас могут утверждать, что всегда говорят правду.

But the unfortunate truth is that, though he was elected with 40 percent of the vote, Khatami has little real power. — Но, к сожалению, на самом деле, хотя Хатами и получил 40 процентов голосов, его реальная власть невелика.

б) A little, a few (употребленные с артиклем) отрицательного оттенка не имеют; могут означать "немного, некоторое количество".

You don't need to buy anything, I've got a few potatoes and some bread. — Не нужно ничего покупать, у меня есть немного картошки и хлеба.

3) Местоимения little и few (без артикля) звучат довольно формально. В повседневной речи вместо них предпочтительны выражения not much, only a few (little) и т.п.

Only a few of his friends came to see him off — Немногие из его друзей пришли проводить его.

I hardly saw any people there — Я там практически никого не видел.

4) Местоимение (a) little может сочетаться с формами сравнительной степени прилагательных и наречий: см. Comparative degree: adjectives, 4.

Could you speak a little louder, please? — Вы не могли бы говорить немножко погромче?

5) Выражение quite a few (разг.) имеет значение "довольно много", "достаточно":

He's got quite a few friends in the neighbourhood. — У него довольно много друзей по соседству.


English-Russian grammar dictionary. 2014.

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