4

I don't really know about the meaning of "like few others" in the first sentence:

  1. AMP is an organisation like few others. We enjoy a culture that recognises individuality yet encourages collaboration, giving real meaning to our work and making a difference to our people and our customers.

And there's the second sentence I saw online:

  1. This was some beautiful morning and what a job they’ve done, like few others have been able to do.

Comparing these two sentences, I don't know if the use of this phrase are the same. Please teach me if you know anything about it.

11

Literally, this phrase means "unusual," since "like few others" is logically the same as "unlike most others." That is, the person or thing you are talking about is not similar in some way to the other people or things that are in the same category.

In addition to that literal meaning, the phrase like few others is almost always used in a positive sense. Not only is this person or thing unlike most others, they are also better in some way than most others. So your example:

...what a job they’ve done, like few others have been able to do.

can be read to mean the same as:

...they have done a better job than most other people could do.

  • 2
    Take care in the difference between 'a few' and 'few'. 'a few' means a small number. 'few' means a small proportion. For example, if I say, "a few chefs produce food of this quality", I mean like maybe 3 to 5 chefs. But if I say "few chefs produce products of this quality", it's far less specific. I could mean thousands of chefs given there are millions in the world. – JimmyJames Feb 12 '18 at 22:34
  • That's quite clear explanation, Canadian Yankee, and it helps a lot. Thank you very much! And thanks for your useful notion, JimmyJames. – user32250 Feb 19 '18 at 10:04
4

When X is like few others, it usually means X is among an exclusive or difficult-to-achieve upper rank of something.

The two examples you provide are the same. The first is being used in a corporate marketing sense, so AMP may in fact be like a lot of other organizations, but the text is trying to entice potential candidates with flowery language.

  • Thanks for sharing the insightful opinion with me. I think that's exactly what got me confused. (Aren't there a lot of organizations promoting themselves like what AMP say?) Now I get it. – user32250 Feb 19 '18 at 10:08
2

Consider this comparison:

He is a mountain-climber like few others. He does not use bottled oxygen.

others there refers to other mountain climbers. He is being compared to other mountain climbers. There are not many mountain climbers who forego bottled oxygen, at least when climbing very high mountains. He is not like most climbers. He is like few climbers.

Now consider this comparison:

It was a clear morning, and what a climb he made — like few others would have been able to do.

His climb and the climbs of other climbers are being compared. His climb was like the climbs of few others:

"a climb ... like [the climbs] (that) few others [that is, few other climbers] would have been able to do."

  • This example presents clearer context and is quite understandable. Thank you! – user32250 Feb 19 '18 at 10:10
0

Few others are like it.

Not many others are like it.

There are not many others like it.

It is unusual.

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