Difference Between Some and A Few In English Grammar
Both of these words are very confusing as far as their usage is concerned. The word some is used to determine something and it is used mostly with the plural nouns. Some indicates to a quantity that is uncountable. As for example in the sentence” Please let me have some water” In this case water is definitely a singular thing, it is most obviously a plural noun. However it is uncountable as well. The word some is used when you are expecting a positive answer. Let us take an example “Could I have some thing to eat please?” In this scenario it is noticeable that the speaker is expecting an answer which in the most possibility will be a positive one. Some is also used to express anything that is uncertain and vague. Let us have some examples-
1. Let us buy some cigarettes.
2. May I have some sugar?
As far as the first sentence is concerned the person who is the speaker has a vague idea about the number of cigarettes that needs to be bought. In the second sentence also the speaker can have no humanly idea as to how much sugar will be or for that matter can be given to him. So the use of some is well explained.
The use of a few is quite similar to the use of some as both of these words have a positive vibe. However the word few if used alone means “almost nothing.” But the word a few means “better than nothing or more than expected”.
Let us have some examples-
1. We do have a few good music CDs which should be enough.
2. There were few students in the class.
3. Though the professor explained the theory in a difficult manner, a few students understood it.
In the first sentence we get a feeling that there is a minimum collection of music CDs.
The second sentence gives us an idea that there are almost no students in the class room save a very small number.
The third sentence shows that in spite of the difficult way of explaining there were a number of students who did understand the theory.