Few / a few, little / a little, fewer /less

Sometimes it’s difficult to know when to use few or a few, little or a little. First of all, we should know that few is used with plural nouns, whereas little is used with uncountable nouns, which are always singular.
There are few apples in the basket.
We have little hope of success.
Without articles, few and little have a rather negative meaning: not much / many.
In the above examples:
There are few apples in the basket = There are not many apples
We have little hope of success= There is not much hope.
On the other hand, a few and a little (with the article) have a positive meaning: there is not much or many, but at least there is something!, which is better than nothing.
In the example:
We don´t need to go shopping: there’s a little milk in the fridge and a few apples and eggs. That will do for dinner.
We can notice how the use of a before little and few gives us a positive feeling.
Fewer is the comparative form of few and less is the comparative of little.
There are fewer students in my class this year.
He earns less money than me.
However, many English speakers use less with plural  nouns, which is considered incorrect by many gammarians.
The superlative form of few is the fewest; the least is the superlative of little
This antidepressant has the fewest side effects.
Don’t thank me. That’s the least I could do for you.

Boring or bored? Adjectives ending in -ed or -ing

In English there is an important group of adjectives that are derived from verbs. They are formed by adding a suffix to the roots of verbs. These suffixes are -ed and -ing. For example, from the verb to relax you can have two adjectives: relaxed and relaxing.

These adjectives are, in fact, present participles (-ing) and past participles (-ed) of verbs that are used as adjectives. Have a look at these sentences:
He relaxed by the pool (past tense of relax)
As soon as he got home, he felt relaxed ( adjective)
She is relaxing in a spa. (present participle of the verb to relax)
It’s quite relaxing to have a massage. (adjective)
Bear in mind that verbs express action or state, whereas adjectives qualify nouns or pronouns, that is, they tell us what someone or something is like or how a person feels.
Some participles have almost entirely lost their verbal connections and are regarded primarily as adjectives. These can be modified by the adverb very: “I am very tired today”. “That’s a very interesting book”. Others still retain strong verbal associations and cannot be modified by the adverb very. Some other suitable adverb must be used: “We had to leave the beach in a hurry because of the swiftly rising tide” (the very rising tide is not possible).
But we have two adjectives formed with the same root of the verb. Why? There must be a difference in meaning, otherwise the language would use just one word, not two. Adjectives ending in -ing are “active”, so as to speak: they perform the action of the verb and mean “having this effect”, whereas those ending in -ed are “passive”, that is, they receive the action and mean “affected in this way”.
“The exhibition was quite interesting”
“I was quite interested in the exhibition”
In the first example, we mean that the exhibition interests people. In the second sentence I feel an interest in the exhibition. In fact, both sentences give the same idea but from two different points of view: what was the exhibition like in the first sentence and how I felt about it in the second one.
Most adjectives ending in -ed are pronounced as /d/ /t/ or /ɪd/, but a few of them have a special pronunciation: the last sylable is pronounced /ɪd/ instead of /d/ or /t/. These are: crooked, dogged,  ragged, wicked, wretched, naked. 

Adjective or Adverb – exercises

Choose the best answer:
Exercise I
1. She played _______.
A) beautiful
B) beautifully
2. The Tv’s far too ______.
A) loud
B) loudly
3) She speaks so very ______.
A) quick
B) quickly
4. She’s a _______ learner.
A) quick
B) quickly
5. I know them quite _______.
A) good
B) well
6. Check your work ______.
A) careful
B) carefully
7. I’ve been having a lot of headaches _______.
A) late
B) lately
8) He’s a ______ actor.
A) terrible
B) terribly
9) He should pass the test _______.
A) easily
B) easilly
10. He’s really lazy and ______ tries.
A) hard
B) hardly
Exercise II
1. The newspapers were very ______ of the scheme.
A) critical
B) critically
2. He’s _____ ill.
A) critical
B) critically
3. I don’t ______ agree with you.
A) full
B) fully
4. I was ______ shocked.
A) complete
B) completely
5. It was a _______ mess.
A) complete
B) completely
6. They messed things up ______.
A) complete
B) completely
7. It was a ______ day for us all.
A) sad
B) sadly
8. Ann walks _______.
A) heavy
B) heavily
9. Ann is ________.
A) beautiful
B) beautifully
10. Ann speaks Chinese _________.
A) fluent
B) fluently