a very few?

6 replies
Few means not many. A few means some. What does a very few mean?
Contributing Member1,620
It means a very small amount.

«You are among the very few who know it.»
© 1993 Project Journeyman Turbo
Contributing Member1,848
Several, but not many/but quite restricted in number

Northanger Abbey by Austen, Jane - Chapter 9
In a very few minutes she reappeared, having scarcely allowed the two others time enough to get through a few short sentences in her praise, after Thorpe ...

A Child's History of England by Dickens, Charles - Chapter 26
rejoicings and bright prospects; but in a very few months he sickened and died. As soon as the King had recovered from his ...

Life and Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II by Darwin, Charles ...
and have understood the whole except a very few passages. In the first place, let me thank you cordially for the manner in which you ...

Battle of the Books and Other Short Pieces by Swift, Jonathan ... when a very few months must of necessity discover the impostor to all the world; in this point less prudent than common almanack- ...
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TeoFew means not many. A few means some. What does a very few mean?
few means not many, not sufficient. a few means some, several, relatively small number. a very few means small number but more that two, selected group, quite a few means large number not a few means even less, almost none, a number so small that you can compare it with two just a few means only some very few means virtually none, almost none so few means surprisingly low number, very low number too few means not many, not enough a small few means very small group (little few is used, though it is not very correct) large few used in night of the large few stars grand few(days/minutes) means several important few to none means almost zero, one or two or another small number
Full Member409
Anonymous:
It is very good and informative.

Would be very helpful if you could give some sentences as examples to help people like us.

Thanking you in advance.

M.SESHADRINATHAN
Anonymous:
It is wrong to use "a very few" .Because

"a few" convey positive meaning

e.g:-There is a few days for my exam.So I can prepare well. (Note:-Use of "a few" is positive i.e how more)

"few " convey negative meaning

e.g:-There is few days left for my exam.So I wont be able to prepare well. (Note:- Use of "few" is negative i.e how less)

So ,There is no phrase like "a very few"

You can only use "very few" ,to convey very less

e.g:- There is very few days left for my exam
AnonymousIt is wrong to use "a very few" .Because

"a few" convey positive meaning
e.g:-There is a few days for my exam.So I can prepare well. (Note:-Use of "a few" is positive i.e how more)
"few " convey negative meaning
e.g:-There is few days left for my exam.So I wont be able to prepare well. (Note:- Use of "few" is negative i.e how less)

So ,There is no phrase like "a very few"
You can only use "very few" ,to convey very less
e.g:- There is very few days left for my exam
Please disrgard this posting, even though it is 4 years after the original.
It is not correct.
A few does not have a "positive" meaning by itself. It depends on the context:
He had few wrong answers. (Good)

There were few supplies left. (Unfortunate)

There are few days left to study for my exam.

"A very few" is grammatically correct, as illustrated above by many famous authors.
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