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Talk Amongst Ourselves > How many is "several"?
UnschoolnMa's Avatar UnschoolnMa 04:36 AM 01-22-2008
Quote:
"I haven't had a shower in several days."
With a shower, I think 3 days is several LOL

Quote:
"I own several New Kids On The Block tapes."
Umm, one?

Quote:
"There are several ways to drive home from here."
4 maybe

I usually think of "several" as starting at 4 or 5, but I think it depends on what we're talking about specifically.

EviesMom's Avatar EviesMom 04:48 AM 01-22-2008
I think of "a" as meaning "one"; "a couple" as 2; "a few" as 3-4; "several" as 5-8; "many" as 9+ generally speaking. For showering, though, I think I'd hope it meant 3-4 days or less!
Ornery's Avatar Ornery 04:55 AM 01-22-2008
I love this thread!

This comes up between DH and I on a regular (read every 6 months or so) basis.....and we've always been too lazy to look it up. Finally an answer to one of life's burning mysteries.
Greensleeves's Avatar Greensleeves 05:06 AM 01-22-2008
:d
delightedbutterfly's Avatar delightedbutterfly 05:51 AM 01-22-2008
I've always thought that

a is one
couple is two
few is three
some is four
handful is five
many is more
several is more than that
lots is even more than that

However several is not a commonly used word in my vocab
kamilla626's Avatar kamilla626 10:09 AM 01-22-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by brymommy View Post
I've always thought that

a is one
couple is two
few is three
some is four
handful is five
many is more
several is more than that
lots is even more than that

However several is not a commonly used word in my vocab
I never even thought about "handful". As in "go down Main St. for a handful of miles"?

I don't know if I've ever heard "handful" used to refer to anything that can't be held in the hand.

Hmm...

"The neighbor's dog got out again, and there are a handful of poops in the yard!"

"My friend owns exotic pets and has a handful of porcupines."

"He dated a handful of women who had very large breasts."


MCatLvrMom2A&X's Avatar MCatLvrMom2A&X 10:21 AM 01-22-2008
Several = more than 2 less than 5.
mamabohl's Avatar mamabohl 11:00 AM 01-22-2008
more than 3
katie9143's Avatar katie9143 12:29 PM 01-22-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthea™ View Post
Couple is 2
Several is 3-7
A lot is 8+
i agree with my fellow stargate watcher
Periwinkle's Avatar Periwinkle 01:19 PM 01-22-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synthea™ View Post
I forgot about "a few" so I'll revise my list -
Couple is 2
A few is 3-4
Several is 5-7
A lot is 8+
I agree with all of this BUT... you would never say:

"It will be there in several days" to a customer ordering a sling from you if you really mean to tell a customer that your online tracking shows it will be there in one week (7 days). If I ordered a sling on Monday to use on a big trip I was taking and I was leaving on Saturday, and the sling store owner promised me it would get to me in 'several' days, I'd be pissed if I didn't get it by the weekend and would be annoyed at their poor communication since 'several' in this context would never mean 7.

or

"You should add several of drops and then stir" to your mother if you really mean to tell your mother that your child should take *at least* 6 vitamin C drops in their tea per the dosing instructions. Here, your mother would be more likely to add 3 or 4 (*maybe* 5) drops, not 6 or 7!

or

"I've completed several pages" to your editor if you've actually written 7 of your 8 page article. i.e., using 'several' would communicate that you've done more like roughly half of your work, not that you're nearly finished.

Again, I think 'several' is generally NOT as many as 6 or 7. Sometimes it is, but there are also many example where it isn't. JMHO.
becoming's Avatar becoming 01:47 PM 01-22-2008
I'd think 4 or more.
AngelaB's Avatar AngelaB 03:38 PM 01-22-2008
2= couple
3= few
4 throught 7 = several
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