a few

a few  {n.} или  {adj.}
Маленькое количество (людей или вещей); немного.
The dry weather killed most of Mother's flowers, but a few are left.
In the store, Mary saw many pretty rings and bracelets, and she wanted to buy a few of them.
After the party, we thought that no one would help clean up, but a few couples did.
Alice wanted to read a few pages more before she stopped.
- Обычно "a few" отличается значением от "few", которое подчеркивает негатив; "a few" означает "some" (немного), а "few" означает "not many" (не так много).
We thought no one would come to lunch, but a few came.
We thought many people would come to lunch, but few came.
Но иногда "a few" используется с "only", и тогда это означает отрицание.
We thought many people would come to lunch, but only a few came.
- Иногда используется как наречие.
Three students have no seats; we need a few more chairs.
If we can set up chairs faster than people come and sit in them, we will soon be a few ahead.
- Иногда используется с "very" для акцента.
Uncle Ralph gave away almost all of his sea shells, but he still had a very few left.
Ср.: A LITTLE. Прот.: A LOT, QUITE A FEW.
Категории: {adj.} {n.}