- A small number of
- A small number of things
- Regrets, I've had a few, but then again too few to mention.
"A few" and "few" without "a" differ in emphasis. "Few" emphasizes that the number is not as large as expected, while "a few" emphasizes the fact that the number, while small, is not zero but more than two.
- I was expecting lots of people at the party, but few turned up.
- I wasn't expecting any young people at the party, but a few turned up.