How many actually do each of these stand for...a few, a couple, a hand full, several....?

A few, A couple, A hand full, Several, Many, A while

Update:

Or any others I didnt list...I can only think of so many.

12 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best answer

    I took many of these from http://www.dictionary.com/

    A few: A special limited number, a minority... So, in the United States, since only a minority of cars are made before 1960, it would therefore be correct to say, "In the United States, a few cars are made before 1960."

    A couple: When you use "a couple" in a phrase such as, "Can you hand me a couple of pins?" it means any number more than two. "A couple of" in that sense is an idiomatic expression. Otherwise, "couple" means exactly two.

    A hand full: A small number or as many as the average adult could hold in his/her average hand.

    Several: between two and "many" (see next).

    Many: a large number

    A while: some period of time (the length of which remains undefined, as far as I can tell)

    In English there is no standard usage, so these definitions are changeable (in other words, if everyone started believing "a few" meant 65, then, after a while, "a few" would probably be defined as 65 by dictionary.com). So, whenever you use any word, a thing to consider is what the person you're writing or speaking to will think you mean. Furthermore, while most of these words don't really have a defined number associated with them, if you say "many," people will think you mean more than "a few." Using these words is more of an art than a science. It's all kind of confused.

  • 1 decade ago

    A few is 3, a couple is 2, a hand full is about 5 and several is about 5 -6, a while is about 1 hour or more

  • 1 decade ago

    a few-3

    a couple -2

    a hand full- 6 or more

    several-between 3 and 6

    a while-??

    a couple of others that come to mind are:

    a mouth-full

    more than a mouth-full

  • RacerX
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    A few (3 or more)

    a Couple (2)

    A handfull (4 or 5..I'd say 5 according to the number of digits on your hand...4 if you don't count the thumb)

    Several (As many as you can handle, or until you choke)

    Many (several on two or more occassions)

    A while (exactly 7.896744535 seconds)

    Regards...

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    my definitions:

    a few: 3

    a hand full: anywhere from 3 or 4 to several 100, depending what you're talking about

    several: 5-7

    many: a dozen

    a while: anywhere from an hour to 1/2 a day

  • D M
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    few =3 couple=2 several= 4 handfull=5

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A couple is two a few three or four, several is five to seven a handful is determined by what is in your hand.

  • 4 years ago

    Oops, I'm guilty of number 14. But it's ok. I blamed somebody else! Many years ago now, going in a crowded elevator with a friend, nobody would move to let us get off at our stop, so I pressed the next floor button & turned to my friend & whispered quickly, "hold your hand over your mouth & puff your cheeks out." I then yelled, "Quick, my friends going to vomit", I've never seen so many people cram together in one corner so quickly ~ was hilarious, we got off at the next stop. Another funny story (not elevator related though) The mother of a friend went into a crowded shop & at the counter while waiting to be served, let one off ~ a great noisy, smelly thing. She turned to another customer, a little balding man, standing beside her & exclaimed in the loudest voice possible: "Well I never, how dare you!" & promptly left the shop. The poor man was left at the counter & the person serving behind the counter was nearly in fits of laughter.

  • Mac
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    couple =2 few= 3to5several=7

  • :)
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    few = 3

    couple = 2

    hand full = about 5

    several = 4 or more

    a while = 20 mins, more or less (depends)

    many = more than 10

    hope this helped! <3

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