She is unfortunate enough to lose few friends she made during her stay in Chennai.

  • 2
    A sentence very similar to this shows up in a number of 'flashcard' tests on the internet, in which the reader is asked to find the error--which is, as you say, the absence of a determiner on few friends. I'd expect the rather than a, but both would be acceptable in different contexts. Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 17:49
  • What's the source of the sentence? Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


The writer is not using a few because the sentence is intended to test the knowledge of the reader.

As you seem to be aware, the use of the article a before few gives a completely different sense to the context.

She made few friends during her first year at university

implies that she did not succeed in making as many friends as might be hoped or expected. It suggests something about the circumstances of her stay or possibly her character.

She made a few friends during her first year at university

is a neutral statement of fact without any implication.

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