In three previous articles (here, here, and here), i’ve addressed some typically confused words and how to choose the one the expresses what you really mean. Talking around those write-ups with some friends prompted this one: those the difference between a couple, few, some, several, or many? because that example, if someone tells you have actually a few options, how numerous do girlfriend have? Three? Four? More?
A couple: Everyone appears to agree the “a couple” means two. If you have actually a couple of options, you deserve to safely assume that you will need to choose between A and B, and also only A and B.
You are watching: What is considered a few minutes
A Few: Here’s wherein things tend to gain confusing. I have asked different civilization how many they thought the indigenous “a few” referred to. Their answers varied. Some insisted “a few” intended three and only three. Some stated it supposed three or four. Or maybe more. The price is that there is no hard-and-fast answer. What “a few” method to me could be various than what “a few” way to you. So, if friend tell someone you will do it be there “in a few minutes,” the two of you can understand the to mean, say, less than five minutes, yet one the you can mean something contempt longer. And someone who wants to borrow “a few dollars” indigenous you may really just want three or four bucks. But maybe not.
As well, relying on the context, “few” (without the “a” preceding it) could mean small to none. Because that example, maybe you have few options.
Some/Several: Again, there is no hard-and-fast ascendancy here. “Some” could be the same as “a few” or it could be more, inching up to “several.” You can have “several dollars” in your pocket, or you could have “some cash” in your wallet, and those quantities could vary considerably in both her mind and also your listener’s/reader’s minds.
Many: that seems usually accepted, though, that “many,” while having actually no precise number attached to it, is the best in quantity in this list. You might many choices, and also that says far more than choosing between solely A, B, and C.
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So, the bottom line seems to it is in this: “a couple” is typically interpreted v some precision to median “two.” “Many” is the most, yet an indeterminate amount. If you striving because that precision, you could want to particularly list a number. For example, there are 5 reasons why the trial court decision must be overturned. That’s pretty clear. However, if you want some wiggle room, you have the right to use “a few,” “some,” or “several,” but realize you and your listener or reader might have various understandings the what those terms mean.