In three previous posts (here, here, and here), i’ve addressed some generally confused words and how to pick the one that expresses what you really mean. Talking about those write-ups with some friends prompted this one: those the difference in between a couple, few, some, several, or many? because that example, if someone tells you have actually a few options, how many do you have? Three? Four? More?
A couple: Everyone appears to agree that “a couple” method two. If you have a pair of options, you deserve to safely assume the you will need to choose between A and B, and also only A and B.
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A Few: Here’s where things have tendency to acquire confusing. I have asked different world how countless they assumed the words “a few” advert to. Your answers varied. Some insisted “a few” supposed three and also only three. Some claimed it supposed three or four. Or possibly more. The answer is that there is no hard-and-fast answer. What “a few” means to me can be various than what “a few” way to you. So, if you tell someone you will do it be there “in a few minutes,” the 2 of you could understand that to mean, say, less than 5 minutes, but one the you could mean something contempt longer. And someone who desires to loaned “a couple of dollars” indigenous you may really just want three or four bucks. Yet maybe not.
As well, depending on the context, “few” (without the “a” preceding it) could mean tiny to none. For example, maybe you have few options.
Some/Several: Again, over there is no hard-and-fast dominance here. “Some” can be the same as “a few” or it could be more, inching approximately “several.” You might have “several dollars” in your pocket, or you can have “some cash” in her wallet, and those amounts could vary substantially in both her mind and also your listener’s/reader’s minds.
Many: it seems normally accepted, though, the “many,” while having actually no an exact number attached to it, is the greatest in amount in this list. You might many choices, and that says far much more than choosing in between solely A, B, and C.
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So, the bottom line appears to it is in this: “a couple” is commonly interpreted through some precision to average “two.” “Many” is the most, however an indeterminate amount. If you’re striving because that precision, you can want to especially list a number. Because that example, there are five reasons why the psychological court decision should be overturned. That’s pretty clear. However, if you desire some wiggle room, you can use “a few,” “some,” or “several,” but realize you and also your listener or reader may have various understandings that what those terms mean.