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  1. Senior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 823
    #1

    few

    Hi there,

    What is the meaning of 'a few of' in this phrase 'all but a few of 50,000 students...'?

    Thanks
    pete

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Feb 2011
    • Posts: 1
    #2

    Re: few

    Quote Originally Posted by peter123 View Post
    Hi there,

    What is the meaning of 'a few of' in this phrase 'all but a few of 50,000 students...'?

    Thanks
    pete
    Well, "a few" means, "a small number" (you can look that one up in a dictionary easily enough), so "all but a few" means "all but a small number".
    Another way of putting it would be "the vast majority" but there would still be a subtle difference between the two phrases.

    I'm not sure that it can be explained any simpler than that.

    By the way, it should probably read "all but a few of the 50,000 students...".

    NB I am a native British English speaker, not a teacher.

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