I know 少し{すこし} and 少ない{すくない} both as 'few', but what's the difference?

1 Answer 1


Those two words do not assume the same roles. 少{すこ}し is an adverb and 少{すく}ない is an i-adjective. So basically, 少し will modify a verb whereas 少ない will tell that there is not much of something.

Some examples.

  • 友達{ともだち}が少ない。I don't have a lot of friends.
  • 時間{じかん}が少なくなった。There is not much time left. (lit. Time has become rarer.)
  • Aさん:日本語{にほんご}話{はな}せるかい。Bさん:少しだけ(話せる)。(A: Can you speak Japanese? B: Just a bit.)
  • 納豆{なっとう}を少し食{た}べました。I ate a bit/some of nattou (but not much of it).

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