In three previous write-ups (here, here, and also here), i’ve addressed some typically confused words and also how to select the one that expresses what you really mean. Talking about those posts with some friends triggered this one: those the difference between a couple, few, some, several, or many? for example, if someone speak you have a couple of options, how countless do you have? Three? Four? More?

A couple: Everyone appears to agree the “a couple” way two. If you have actually a couple of options, you can safely assume the you will have to choose in between A and B, and also only A and B.

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A Few: Here’s wherein things tend to gain confusing. I have asked different human being how countless they assumed the native “a few” referred to. Their answers varied. Part insisted “a few” intended three and only three. Some claimed it meant three or four. Or probably more. The price is the there is no hard-and-fast answer. What “a few” way to me could be different than what “a few” means to you. So, if friend tell someone you’ll be over there “in a couple of minutes,” the two of you can understand that to mean, say, less than 5 minutes, however one the you might mean something contempt longer. And someone who wants to lend “a few dollars” native you might really just want three or 4 bucks. Yet maybe not.

As well, depending on the context, “few” (without the “a” coming before it) could mean little to none. Because that example, perhaps you have couple of options.

Some/Several: Again, there is no hard-and-fast preeminence here. “Some” can be the very same as “a few” or it could be more, inching as much as “several.” You might have “several dollars” in your pocket, or you could have “some cash” in her wallet, and those amounts could vary significantly in both your mind and your listener’s/reader’s minds.

Many: that seems normally accepted, though, the “many,” while having actually no an exact number attached come it, is the best in amount in this list. You could many choices, and that suggests far much more than choosing in 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 typical “two.” “Many” is the most, yet an indeterminate amount. If you’re striving for precision, you could want to particularly list a number. For example, there are five reasons why the attempt court decision should be overturned. That’s pretty clear. However, if you desire some wiggle room, you have the right to use “a few,” “some,” or “several,” yet realize you and also your listener or reader might have different understandings the what those state mean.