few, couple and bunch

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gauri_agr

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Hi All,

I get confused using these while speaking..

Is the following true:

few=three
couple=two
bunch=many

Please correct my sentences below

1. I have bunch of minute today.
2. I have couple of minutes only to accomplish this task.
3. can you please give me few pencils?
4. I need bunch of pencils to distribute in KG class.

Thanks in Advanced
Gauri
 

Barb_D

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Wait a moment, though. "Few" does not = three.

It could be three, but it could also be four, six, or even 12, if being compared to a few hundred of something else.

Also, do you understand the difference between "a few" and "few"?

Can you see the difference between "I have few things on my task list today" and "I have a few things on my task list today"?

The first (few) emphasizes the smallness of the number. I have few things to do, so it should be an easy day. The second (a few) simply tells you it's more than one or two, but not a huge number.
 

gauri_agr

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thanks Barb. I still didnt understand the difference between "few" and "a few".

Could you please give me more examples?
 

IHIVG

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Could you please give me more examples?

I will try.

The difference is that "few" is less than "a few", and if you want to emphasize the shortage/lack of something, few may be a better choice in the right context.

His ideas are very difficult and few people understand them. (means that almost no one understands them.)

I have a few friends in this town. (The idea is that you have some/several friends in the town -- neither many nor few.)

I have (very) few regrets as I always try to take advantage of every opportunity. (I have (almost) nothing to regret about - I live the life to its fullest.)

I have a few regrets; I wish I had done some things differently. (Implies that while you don't have many regrets, you still have some.)

Do you see the difference now?
 

Barb_D

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Yes, simply - if you want to emphasize how SMALL the number is, then use "few."

If you simply want to say "more than two, but not many" then use "a few."
 
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