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peter123

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Sep 13, 2007
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Arabic
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Malaysia
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Hi there,

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

Thanks
pete
 

mikomi

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Feb 7, 2011
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British English
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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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