Do you have a few reasons to study English, or do you have few reasons?
I hope you have a few reasons! This is very similar to the difference between a little and little, as discussed in the previous post.
A few This is the expression that is used about 95 percent of the time. This expression is used to give a general idea of the quantity of something, and is somewhere between “a couple” and “several.” This phrase can only be used to describe plural count nouns (cats, people, chairs, ideas, etc.) For example, if you say, “I have a few friends at work” you are simply indicating a general quantity.
Few The definition may be similar: it expresses that it is a small number of something. However, the difference is in the emphasis on and the feeling about that small number. For example, if you say, “I have few friends at work” you are emphasizing the fact that you have only a very small number of friends, and perhaps you feel lonely or unhappy about it.
Here are a few more examples: (See what I did there?) 🙂
There are a few tickets available. (You can still buy some.)
There are few tickets available. (They are almost sold out; you should buy yours quickly.)
There were a few A’s on the test. (Acknowledging the positive fact that they did so well)
There were few A’s on the test. (Emphasizing the fact that most people did not do well)
I have a few reasons to study English. (Maybe for work, travel, or personal interest)
I have few reasons to study English. (I don’t have much motivation to study it.)
Now that you know the difference, I hope you have a few reasons for studying English!
On a related topic, see the previous post discussing a little vs. little.