When people say 'Several' hours.. What do they mean?
Several hours - means more than few hours. Now the range when a “couple of” becomes “few” and when “few” becomes “several” is a matter of judgement call. And these terms are also often misinterpreted at times even by native speakers. However by rule of thumb -. Couple of means - 2 - . May 22, · a couple of hours = 2 hrs. a few hours = 3 or 4 hrs. several hours = 5 to 11hrs. half a day = 12 hrs.
There will be no changes to other Yahoo properties or services, or your Yahoo account. You can find more information about the Yahoo Answers shutdown and how to download your data on this help page. In my mind this is how I catergorise the means how to take aloe vera for acid reflux make sense to me.
I see a few interpretations that suggest several means and I find that absurb and illogical that we would have the word couple which obviously means 2. Different ranges. They are called imprecise estimates for a reason. Precision is not what they are trying to mean, and in fact, they are saying precisely the opposite: we do not know exactly.
A couple, on the other hand, is pretty precise 2 and only 2as is a dozen 12 and only 12, as opposed to dozens-do you really think that a person means only 12, 24, 36, 48, etc when they say "dozens"? Several and few are relative to other numbers. For example, if you talk about a battalion of troops numbering 1, and you asked for reinforcements. If they sent troops you would call that a few. On the other hand, if you were chasing an enemy platoon of eight soldiers, then reinforcements would be several.
In idiomatic American English, "a few", and "several" are ways of being vague about the actual number; either because you don't know the actual number, or you are trying to mislead.
A few is inbetween so why would we have 3 words that all were to mean the same thing? Answer Save. Joe Lv 7. Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.
a lengthy commercial (frequently of a half-hour or hour 's duration) parading as information or a documentary, though not necessarily presented by a celebrity. 1: consisting of more than two but not very many several people several minutes 2: separate or distinct from others: different federal union of the several states several. several meaning: 1. some; an amount that is not exact but is fewer than many: 2. separate or different: 3. some. Learn more.
Check out words from the year you were born and more! Prince Philip dies at Build vocab with Puku today! Can you correctly identify these flowers? Couple is used when referring to two things, as in "a couple of days ago," whereas few and several are less specific. Few means "not many but some," as in "The train leaves in a few minutes," and several denotes more than the words couple and few do but implies lesser than the word many does. One of the gripes lexicographers hear with regularity is that people don't use words precisely or accurately.
Many such complaints, however, are guided by the assumption that we're the ones who should enforce precise usage rather than what we really do, which is record the actual usage of words, even when that usage is considered wrong, loose, or otherwise We are nothing if not helpful, though, so we have taken one common set of words that people often ask about— couple , few , and several —and will offer below some general usage guidelines.
How many couples are in this stock photo search result for 'a few'? Couple first entered English as a noun in the 13th century, where it referred to two people linked in a romantic relationship.
The word is from the Latin copula , which means "bond. The word was quickly applied to pairs, but by the s, it was also being used in the phrase a couple of to refer to an indefinite but still small number of people or things:. Point you out a Scholemaster, who by your order, shall teache my sonne and yours, and for all the rest, I will provide, yea though they three do cost me a couple of hundred poundes by yeare I shall here communicate to the World a couple of letters. Once this broadening of couple began, there was no holding it back.
Couple is now understood primarily to refer to two when used as a bare noun "they make a nice couple" , but is often used to refer to a small indeterminate of two or more when used in the phrase a couple of "I had a couple of cups of coffee and now I can't sleep.
Its smallness seems to be relative: a quick check of our citation files reveals that the phrase a couple of years ago has been used to refer to everything from one year and change to eight years, though most of the time the phrase seems to be used of three or four years when we can verify dates. Verdict: couple is used of small numbers most of the time, but usually at least two or more.
Few is an old word, dating back to the 9th century. It has never been used of a definite number, unlike couple : from the very beginning, few was used of a comparatively small number. The key word here is comparatively.
Few is contrasted with many , but both are scalable quantities. For instance:. Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.
He arrived at the grotto a few days ago and asked his question, and since then he has been fasting in a holy cell while he waits for the answer. The "few days" here are describing two completely different numerical quantities. The King James Bible uses "few days" to mark out the span of a person's life compared to eternity; the excerpt from The Egypt Game seems to be referring to the small number of days that have passed since the visitor arrived and the narrative present.
In neither case can you definitely say that few refers to a number between, say, 3 and To make matters more confusing, few also appears in the idioms not a few and quite a few , both of which refer to many:. Maria then said some really ugly things about Baltasar and not a few about Tony, and when she finally resumed speaking in a normal tone of voice, she used some very crisp language Quite a few phrases built around fact--the fact that, in point of fact, and the fact is, for example--are attacked in various handbooks as wordy deadwood.
Verdict: few is less than many or most , and could be as much as couple or more than couple. It's all relative. Several came into English in the s, but didn't develop its quantity meanings until the s. Several initially meant "distinct or separate" in English. Yes, meanings : several originally referred to more than one. They be but one heire, and yet severall persons. By the s, however, several had come to refer to an indefinite number that was not large:.
The current having forc'd the Ship upon the shore, where we were constrained to stay for several hours. Several young Men at the Universities, terribly possessed with the fear of Pedantry, run into a worse Extream. The many meaning is now primarily a dialectal use, fortunately. In use, the connotation of several is that it represents more than a few. We have one helpful citation in our files, sent there by a science editor:. When he looked at the planet Jupiter, Galileo found that it was accompanied by several small satellites or moons that orbited around it.
Hawking, A Brief History of Time , Verdict: in common use, several is often more than a couple and a few , though it is sometimes the same as both and occasionally more than a few. Become a master without leaving home! You've waited days, weeks, months, even years for this. Jim Crow GA restricts voting access. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! We're intent on clearing it up. We're gonna stop you right there.
How to use a word that literally drives some pe The awkward case of 'his or her'. Which of these things doesn't belong? Test your vocabulary with our question quiz! Login or Register. Time Traveler. Prince Philip: Royal 'Consort'. Set your young readers up for lifelong success. Name that Thing: Flower Edition. What to Know Couple is used when referring to two things, as in "a couple of days ago," whereas few and several are less specific.
More Words At Play. Love words? Need even more definitions? We're intent on clearing it up 'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'? We're gonna stop you right there Literally How to use a word that literally drives some pe Is Singular 'They' a Better Choice? Play the game.