a few, few

Which should you use, a few or few? The determiner a few, meaning “a small number of”, is used before a plural noun. The determiner few also means “a small number of”, and is used to emphasize how small the number of people or things is. Few is used with a plural noun.

Correct: They have planted a few trees.
Correct: She has few friends.

A few and few are not interchangeable. Do not use few to mean a few, and vice versa.

Incorrect: They were there few days ago.
Correct: They were there a few days ago.
Incorrect: He is a man of a few words.
Correct: He is a man of few words.
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