Viri arrived at the house with a smile. Upon entering the house, she was greeted by her husband.
“So, how was the event?” Mike asked.
Viri had attended the small business starter event in the town center. “Great and I think you would really like to attend. “ She replied.
“Oh yeah, why is that?” Mike enquired.
Knowing how much her husband hated crowds, she said, “There were very little people there.”
Surprised by what she said, Mike imagined Viri sitting at a table towering over every one of the meeting attendees. A chuckle escaped Mike and a smile spread across his face.
What’s So Funny?
“What?” Viri asked. “I know you don’t like to go to places where there are a lot of people.” She added.
“I’m sorry honey.” Mike told his wife. “I don’t mean to laugh; it’s just that I was just imagining very small people at the meeting and it made me laugh.”
“Ok, I don’t get it.” Viri said. Mike went on to explain that when she said that there were very little people there, it meant that the size of the people was small.
“What should I have said?” Viri asked.
“What I think you wanted to say was that there were very few people there and that refers to the number of people there and not their size.” Mike responded.
Viri immediately saw the humor behind what she had said and began to laugh imagining all the meeting attendees hardly able to look over the table’s edge.
You can have very little coffee or very little time because they refer to uncountable nouns.
If you use little with plural nouns then you are referring to its size. For example:
There are beautiful little buildings in smaller towns. This means that the size of the buildings is small.
If you want to refer to the quantity of something instead of the size, you use the opposite of many which is few. Example:
There were very few people at the meeting tonight.
The word people is a plural noun so if you want to refer to its size you use little and for quantity you use few.
In the story where she is imagining the attendees “hardly able to look over the table’s edge” It means that the people are so small that they have difficulty seeing at the same height as the table due to their small size.