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Hi. Please help me with these. Are these correct?

1. John asked me to pay for his lunch when we were eating together. He said he had left his wallet home. I told him that I couldn't pay for his because I have little money with me, not enough to pay for both him and me.

2. He doesn't speak English fluently. He knows little English. -- Someone told me it should be "a little." If we do that, I think that would put his speaking level in a favorable light, although it would be not good enough. (I am not sure, though.) And I think it would not reflect his feeling that he does not speaks good-enough English?

3. My friend, Jane, asked me for apples, and I said I was sorry and I couldn't give her any since I had few apples, not enough for my family.
Comments  
1. It should be "because I had little money". Otherwise, this is a correct use of "little", but it isn't very common in conversation. In real life, people tend not to say "I have little money with me"; instead they might say "I don't have much money with me".

2. In "He knows little English", the emphasis is on the fact that he does not know much English. In "He knows a little English", the emphasis is on the fact that he does know some English, albeit not a lot.

3. This use of "few" is correct English, but, again, it is not very common in conversation. In real life people would be more likely to say "I don't have many apples" than "I have few apples".
Thank you.

As to no. 2, If a person decided to add the sentence underlined after what was written originally, would you say we should use the phrase "a little" or the word "little" in the following sentence situation?

He doesn't speak English fluently. He knows little English. He knows only few (a few?) words.

I think using the phrase "a few" puts his knowing some words in a positive light and that impression might not be what is correct to reflect the correct context. What do you think?

Also, I think the phrase "a little" and the word "little" are quanitifiers.
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In sentences 1 and 3, I would write
... because I had too little money with me, not enough for both of us.
... since I had too few apples, not even enough (barely enough) for my family.

The use of "too" makes it more conversational.

All the best!
AnonymousAs to no. 2, If a person decided to add the sentence underlined after what was written originally, would you say we should use the phrase "a little" or the word "little" in the following sentence situation?
He doesn't speak English fluently. He knows little English. He knows only few (a few?) words.
These sentences, concatenated like this, have a staccato, repetitious effect that is stylistically poor.

Both "little" and "a little" are possible, with the meanings explained earlier. "He knows only few words" is not possible. "He knows few words" and "He knows a few words" are both possible. The difference is exactly the same as for "little" / "a little". As you say, "a few" puts his knowing some words in a positive light. "He knows only a few words" is also possible. It has a similar meaning to "He knows few words", but is perhaps slightly less negative.

Which of "little"/"few" or "a little"/"a few" fits "He doesn't speak English fluently" better is debatable. On balance, perhaps "He doesn't speak English fluently" suggests he does speak some English, so perhaps "a little" / "a few" is more likely. But, of course, it all depends on what you are trying to say.
Hi. Thank you, again. If we could replace the word "few" with the phrase "not many" (or think of the word "few" as that), could we write this?

Nice to see you. I wanted to ask you some questions. Would you mind if I asked few (not many) questions?

My friend seems to say the phrase "a few" is correct in this context and I am puzzled as to why. Help.
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AnonymousNice to see you. I wanted to ask you some questions. Would you mind if I asked few (not many) questions?
My friend seems to say the phrase "a few" is correct in this context and I am puzzled as to why. Help.
"Would you mind if I asked a few questions?" is correct. You want to ask some questions.

"Would you mind if I asked few questions?" is grammatically possible, but is a very unlikely thing to want to say. It suggests that you want to ask fewer questions than the other person would like. It is like saying "Would you mind if I didn't ask very many questions?"
give me some example.about a few few.or a little little..in many real situations in life or as things......