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    #1

    handsful ?

    What is the word/phrase used to describe - using two hands together to pick grain or powder from a large container or a heap?

    It appears handsful is used when you pick up something multiple times but using one hand.

    Mary took ???? of berries from her pile and put it in Jane's lap.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: handsful ?

    "Handsful" can be used for two hands also.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: handsful ?

    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/d...ritish/handful

    Having read the above, I think it should be 'handful' instead of 'handsful'.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: handsful ?

    I have never heard of 'handsful'. It does not appear in any major dictionary.

    (Crossposted with Matthew)

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: handsful ?

    That was my error. I copied the OP's word.

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    #6

    Re: handsful ?

    Thanks for prompt reply. But using the same term for two hands put together does not differentiate these two situations:

    1) Initially, Mary picked a handful of berries using her left hand, and then picked two handful of berries using her right hand, and altogether gave three handful of berries into Jane's lap.

    2) Later when Jane wanted more, Mary put a ????? (cupped her two hands together and scooped up) of berries in Jane's lap, and told her not to ask for more.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: handsful ?

    We usually pluralize the 'ful', not the 'hand' - i.e. several 'handfuls'.

    However, that still doesn't specify whether it's a single handful or a double handful.

    Edit: Since we cross-posted, I'll edit to clarify that you're right, it doesn't distinguish. Native speakers normally don't bother distinguishing, but if you really wanted to specify, you could say a 'double handful', as compared to 'two handfuls'.


    I don't understand why in your example it matters which hand (right or left) it was picked with.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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    #8

    Re: handsful ?

    When I was a child, if I used "handfuls", I was corrected by either my parents or my grandfather and told that it should be "handsful" though I don't think I've ever written it down. Perhaps they were suggesting "hands full" rather than it being one word.

    An argument could be made for both. If "a handful" is singular, then "two/three etc handfuls" should be the plural. If it were expressed as "a hand full of beans", then the plural should be "two hands full of beans".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: handsful ?

    In 1) she used one hand at a time [left or right but not together, dont know why, but I can ask her if I meet her ].
    In 2) she cupped them together and scooped until they were full. I was looking for a term for this situation.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #10

    Re: handsful ?

    2) Later when Jane wanted more, Mary put a double handful of berries in Jane's lap, and told her not to ask for more.
    Last edited by J&K Tutoring; 14-Oct-2015 at 00:47.

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