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  1. #1
    sh3000 is offline Newbie
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    very few

    Hi..


    What does it mean that
    "suddenly Black's queen has very few squares to retreat to."?


    Does it mean that the squares are not very insufficient ?


    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: very few

    There are very few choices.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    mayita1usa's Avatar
    mayita1usa is offline Member
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    Re: very few

    Quote Originally Posted by sh3000 View Post
    What does it mean that
    "suddenly Black's queen has very few squares to retreat to."?
    Few is used with countable nouns to mean "not many".
    The queen has few squares. = The queen does not have many squares.

    It is parallel to the use of little with uncountable nouns to mean "not much".
    We have little space to live in. = We do not have much space to live in.

    Very
    emphasizes the small number (of squares).

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: very few

    not very insufficient
    Out of curiosity, what did you mean by this phrase?

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: very few

    Quote Originally Posted by sh3000 View Post

    Hi
    . (one full stop is enough)

    What does it mean that "Suddenly Black's queen has very few squares to retreat to (no full stop here)" mean?

    Does it mean that the squares are not very insufficient?

    "Not very insufficient" would not be used in English. "Insufficient" means "not enough". If your phrase were grammatically correct, it would mean "not very not enough" which a) doesn't work and b) is a double negative. "Insufficient" is not an adjective that can be used with "very" etc.

    There are insufficient squares.

    Also note that we do not put a space before a question mark. See the other amendments to capitalisation and punctuation I made to your post.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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