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    #1

    preferred a few instruments

    Can one say:

    a. For the scores of his movies, he preferred few instruments to a big orchestra.
    b. For the scores of his movies, he preferred a few instruments to a big orchestra.

    instead of
    a1. For the scores of his movies, he preferred having few instruments to a big orchestra.
    b1. For the scores of his movies, he preferred having a few instruments to a big orchestra.

    respectively?

    My feeling is that (a) works, but I don't know if one would put quotation marks around 'few instruments'. (b) seems OK to me too.

    But I prefer (a1) and (b1).

    Many thanks.

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    #2

    Re: preferred a few instruments

    I think it depends on what you're trying to say IMO. The first makes sense, but it means that he normally preferred a full orchestra.

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