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Thread: a few of ..

  1. #1
    xanana Guest

    Default a few of ..

    I came upon this sentence yesterday which reads:-

    Here's a few steps of ...
    Is this grammatically correct ? Or should I say "Here are a few steps.." ?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: a few of ..

    [quote="xanana"]I came upon this sentence yesterday which reads:-

    Here's a few steps of ...
    Is this grammatically correct?
    No, but it is a form which is becoming increasingly more common. People who would never say "Here is a few steps of..." will say "Here's a few steps of...." It is not really a contraction for anything, although it appears to be. It is something that, in my opinion, comes from laziness. :(

    Or should I say "Here are a few steps.."?
    Yes. Please do. :)

    8)

  3. #3
    xanana Guest

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    RonBee,

    It is not really a contraction for anything, although it appears to be.
    OK. So it's grammatically incorrect. When you say that it's now commonly acceptable; would I be penalized in an academic setting ?

    Or should I say "Here are a few steps.."?
    So the fact that this is legit is because "a few steps" should be the thing that's being quantified rather than "a few" which is singular ?

    Thanks

  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by xanana
    RonBee,

    It is not really a contraction for anything, although it appears to be.
    OK. So it's grammatically incorrect. When you say that it's now commonly acceptable; would I be penalized in an academic setting ?
    I'm not really sure what you mean by that. In any case, I don't think I would be qualified to comment on that.

    So the fact that this is legit is because "a few steps" should be the thing that's being quantified rather than "a few" which is singular ?
    I am not really sure what you mean. You can quantify steps but not a few steps. Also, you can't quantify a few, because it is not a noun. Instead, it is an adjective indicating an indefinite quantity of something.

    I hope that helps.

    8)

  5. #5
    xanana Guest

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    RonBee,

    You can quantify steps but not a few steps. Also, you can't quantify a few, because it is not a noun. Instead, it is an adjective indicating an indefinite quantity of something
    Thus, a few books is similar to some books. There is definitely more than one book (although the exact quantity is unknown); which then implies that Here are a few books is recommended over Here is a few books. I think I get it now.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default A few ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    You can quantify steps but not a few steps. Also, you can't quantify a few, because it is not a noun. Instead, it is an adjective indicating an indefinite quantity of something
    Quote Originally Posted by xanana
    Thus, a few books is similar to some books. There is definitely more than one book (although the exact quantity is unknown); which then implies that Here are a few books is recommended over Here is a few books. I think I get it now
    In response to your first sentence: yes! :) In response to your last sentence: I think you're right. :)

    8)

    Regards,
    RonBee

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    'Here's a few' is colloquial and should definitely not be used in an academic context. I would say that it's OK in spoken language (it is very common in London, where I live), but I wouldn't recommend its use in written language. :D

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