#252 Words and Phrases to Describe Small Quantities in English

Speak English Now Podcast: Learn English | Speak English without grammar.

May 18 2023 • 16 mins

Today, we'll talk about words and phrases that can help you express the amount or quantity of something and when to use them effectively.

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Let's start by discussing small quantities.

If you only have a little bit of something, you might say "a few" or "some." A few means three to five of something, while some are a bit more vague and can mean any small amount.

For example, if you're discussing job opportunities, you might say:

I've applied for a few positions, but I haven't heard back from any of them yet.

If you're talking about your progress in learning English, you could say:

Even though I've been learning English for quite some time, I still face difficulties in speaking fluently.

When you have a bit more of something but not a lot, you could say "several."

Several usually means more than three but less than ten.

For example, if you're talking about books you bought from a bookstore, you could say:

She bought several books from the store, including a mystery novel and a travel guide.

Or maybe you need a "handful" or a "bunch" of something.

A handful represents the amount that can be held in your hand, while a bunch refers to a group of things that are tied or held together.

For example, if you're at the beach collecting seashells, you could say:

I picked up a handful of shells at the beach.

If you're asking for a snack from a bag of chips, you might say:

Can you pass me the bag? I just want a small bunch.

Ok, let's continue!

If you have a collection of items, you could say "a group" or "a cluster." A group typically refers to a small number of things, while a cluster denotes a small group of things that are close together.

For example, if you're discussing a meeting you attended with indecisive people, you could say:

I attended a meeting with a group of people who struggle to make decisions, but we couldn't come to an agreement on what to discuss.

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