Few/Several

Annie

Kwiziq community member

9 March 2018

2 replies

Few/Several

What English dialect is Kwiziq based on? My sociolect most definitely does not contain this silly "few is slightly less than several". Few is the opposite of many, it is not in a scale with several. Several means more than one, although usually 3 or more. I get that you are looking for a way to separate out the feel of scale in the French words, but it just doesn't work.

This question relates to:
French lesson "Quelques, plusieurs, de nombreux = A few, several, many (quantities)"

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

9 March 2018

9/03/18

Hi Annie - this is definitely something that is down to personal interpretation so I'm not surprised that you don't find it quite matches your internal semantics. English is also far less precise than French. That said, there is a rough hierarchy to English quantities that works for many people.

There's an interesting write up here:

https://www.writerightwords.com/write-right-couple-few-some-several-many/ 

But, as I said, this isn't a law so it either fits with how you use the words, or not. Also I think "a few" is different to "few", which may help? For me, a few is definitely less than several. I guess it depends on the context as well though.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

9 March 2018

9/03/18

To me, a few represents a tighter restriction than several. If I said, "I have several of them.", it could mean a few or a bit more than a few.

-- Chris. 

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