# How many are "a few"? [Details inside].

Asked by rebbel (23651) June 12th, 2012

This question came up after I wrote someone that I would contact him in a few days.
Or in one of these coming days.
Could there be global consensus about how many days it should be in order not to breach the promise?
Or is it personal, and depending on the relationship one has with a certain person?
After how many days would you call, and after how many days would you think that the call to you is probably not coming anymore?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

Anytime after tomorrow but before a week has passed…..kind of!

ucme (44453)

I was taught the following by my florist uncle around 1979:

a couple = 2
a few = 3
some = 4
a handful = 5

Days: 3–5

Beers: 6–8

@cprevite I like what your uncle taught you. But isn’t the size of a “handful” dependent on the size of the hand and the size of the objects the hand can hold?? Just picking nits

Sunny2 (18750)

@Sunny2: His explanation was that a hand had five fingers. I do see your point though.

Within a week.

Everything is relative.

tups (6707)

A handful of peanuts is a lot more than five. And a few peanuts is more than three. A few days is 3 or 4 days to me.

marinelife (61081)

I’ve always considered “a few” to mean 3 or more.

stardust (10544)

To me, “I will contact you in a few days” means “do not expect an answer by tomorrow or the next day, but I’ll get back to you in less than a week.” Since it would be just as easy and more informative to say “I will contact you next week” if you were planning on waiting that long, saying “a few days” conversationally implicates a time frame of less than a week (despite the fact that the semantic meaning of “few” is “three or more”).

SavoirFaire (22928)

A few is three to five. Maybe six.

What always kills me is when I say I want a “couple” and someone says, “how many is that?”

I’d love to know what their relationships are like when a couple means more than two.

wundayatta (58492)

A few days, to me, is more than 3 but less than 6 or 7 as that would be “in about a week”.

tranquilsea (17512)

One too many!?!?

ZEPHYRA (19328)

3.

nonexpert (563)