Quick answer
"Few" is a pronoun which is often translated as "pocos", and "not many" is a phrase which is often translated as "no muchos". Learn more about the difference between "few" and "not many" below.
few(
fyu
)
A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun (e.g. she).
1. (not many)
a. pocos
Very few of her friends attended her bridal shower.Muy pocas de sus amigas asistieron a su despedida de novia.
Very few were brave enough to touch the lion.Muy pocos fueron lo suficientemente valientes como para tocar el león.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
2. (some)
a. unos cuantos
If you are looking for a pen, there are a few in my desk.Si andas buscando un bolígrafo, hay unos cuantos en mi escritorio.
b. algunos
The clown frightened a few of the children.El payaso asustó a algunos de los niños.
3. (small amount of the population)
a. los pocos
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
My dad always complains about how 99% of the world's money goes to the rich few.Mi papá siempre se queja de que 99% de la plata del mundo va a los pocos ricos.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
4. (not many)
a. pocos
There are few cars on the road today.Hay pocos carros en la carretera hoy.
5. (some)
a. algunos
I have a few friends that went to Harvard.Tengo algunos amigos que fueron a Harvard.
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not many
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (general)
a. no muchos
How many tacos are left? - Not many.¿Cuántos tacos quedan? - No muchos.
b.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Do you still have cupcakes at home? - Yes, but there are not many left.¿Tienes magdalenas en casa? - Sí, pero no quedan muchas.
There are not many people at the theater.No hay muchas personas en el teatro.
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