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few
compar. fewer superl. fewest
British English: /fjuː/
American English: /fju/
When few is used as a quantifier to indicate the smallness or insufficiency of a given number or quantity ( few horses, few shops, few people), it is translated by pochi + masculine nouns and poche + feminine nouns: pochi cavalli, pochi negozi, poche persone. Equally the few is translated by i pochi/le poche: the few people who knew her = le poche persone che la conoscevano. For examples and particular usages, see in the entry below. - When few is used as a quantifier in certain expressions to mean several, translations vary according to the expression: see in the entry below. - When a few is used as a quantifier ( a few books), it can often be translated by qualche, which is invariable and is always followed by the singular: qualche libro; however, for expressions such as quite a few books, a good few books, see in the entry below. - For translations of few used as a pronoun ( few of us succeeded, I only need a few), see in the entry below. - For translations of the few used as a noun ( the few who voted for him), see in the entry below.

quantifier

  • 1 (not many)
    pochi
    few visitors, letters
    pochi visitatori, poche lettere
    few people came to the meeting
    poche persone sono venute alla riunione
    very few houses, families
    pochissime case, famiglie
    there are very few opportunities for graduates
    ci sono pochissime opportunità per i laureati
    one of my few pleasures
    uno dei miei pochi piaceri
    on the few occasions that she has visited this country
    le rare volte che ha visitato questo paese
    their needs are few
    hanno poche necessità
    their demands are few
    sono poco esigenti o di poche pretese
    to be few in number there are too few women in this profession
    le donne sono troppo poche in questo mestiere
    with few exceptions
    con rare eccezioni
    a man of few words
    un uomo di poche parole
    (approvingly) un uomo che non si perde in chiacchiere
  • 2 (some, several)every few days
    a intervalli di pochi giorni o ogni due o tre giorni
    over the next few days, weeks
    (in past) nei giorni successivi, nelle settimane successive
    (in future) nei giorni, nelle settimane a venire
    these past few days
    nei giorni scorsi
    the first few weeks
    le prime settimane
    the few books she possessed
    i pochi libri che possedeva
  • 3
    also: a few
    a few people, houses
    alcune persone, case
    I would like a few more quite a few people, houses
    parecchie persone, case o un bel po' di persone, case
    we've lived here for a good few years
    viviamo qui da un bel po' di anni
    a few weeks earlier
    qualche settimana fa, prima
    in a few minutes
    tra qualche minuto
    in a few more months
    tra qualche mese ancora
    a few more times

pronoun

  • 1 (not many)
    pochi (masculine plural) (-e)
    few of us succeeded
    pochi di noi ci sono riusciti
    few of them could swim
    erano in pochi a saper nuotare
    few of them survived
    pochi di loro sono sopravvissuti
    there are so few of them that …
    (objects) ce ne sono così pochi che …
    (people) sono talmente pochi che …
    there are four too few
    ne mancano quattro
    as few as four people turned up
    sono arrivate soltanto quattro persone
    few can deny that …
    poche persone possono negare che …
  • 2 (some)a few of the soldiers, countries
    alcuni dei soldati, dei paesi
    I only need a few
    me ne servono solo alcuni
    a few of us
    qualcuno di noi
    there were only a few of them
    (objects) ce n'erano solo alcuni
    (people) c'erano solo alcuni di loro
    quite a few of the tourists come from Germany a good few of the houses were damaged
    sono state danneggiate un bel po' di case
    there are only a very few left
    (objects) ne sono rimasti pochissimi
    (people) sono rimasti in pochissimi
    a few wanted to go on strike
    alcuni volevano entrare in sciopero

noun

  • the few who voted for him
    i pochi, le poche persone che hanno votato per lui
    great wealth in the hands of the few
    una grande ricchezza nelle mani di pochi
    music that appeals only to the few
    musica che piace solo ad una minoranza (di persone)

Idioms

to be few and far between

essere rarissimi

such people, opportunities are few and far between

persone, occasioni come queste sono rarissime

villages in this area are few and far between

ci sono pochissimi paesi in questa zona

to have had a few (too many)

[informal]
avere bevuto qualche bicchiere di troppo

Definition of few in:

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