a bunch of

< Previous | Next >

Amstellodamois

Senior Member
French - France
Hi!

I've two questions about this expression.

  • I've seen many times "bench" instead of "bunch". Is that correct? Does it have the same meaning?
  • Do you use a singular or a plural behind it (google returns quite few answers for "a bunch of them" compared to "a bunch of it")?
Thanks for your help.
 
  • Ferrydog

    Senior Member
    English
    Perhaps I have missed something (I often do) but 'bench' in the link you gave is referring to a seat in a public place. It has nothing to do with 'bunch'. Moreover, they do not have the same meaning at all as any dictionary will testify.
     
    If you mean the "Bench of memory" headline, then the article itself explains what it means.

    A bench has been installed for people to sit on at the side of the road, with a brass plaque affixed to it, commemorating slaves and their history.

    "Bench of memory" means that it is a bench on which the memory/memorial is recorded.
     

    Amstellodamois

    Senior Member
    French - France
    I didn't read the article, I should have. I apologize.
    I think I've heard "a bench of" only in the mouth of non-natives, probably making a mistake so.


    Then, there is still my question about singular/plural :)
     

    moverb

    Member
    English
    If "it" refers to a collective noun, then it can be singular or plural.

    1. I have a bunch of paper.
    2. I have a bunch of papers.

    The meanings are very close but the emphasis is a little different. In #1 you are emphasizing a large quantity of paper and quantity is singular. It #2 you are emphasizing many separate sheets of paper which is plural.

    If "it" refers to something singular, then it does not make sense to use "bunch" for one thing.
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Most usually "bunch" is followed by a plural. Even a "bunch of paper" sounds strange to me, but I would say, I think, I have a bunch of work to do before I can leave town. Never a "bench" though!
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Lots of uses of "bunch" are just colloquial. The only non-colloquial examplle that comes to mind is "a bunch of flowers." The only "uncountable" noun that I can think of that I would use with "bunch" would be "work" and that's also pretty colloquial. You could say "I've been to a bunch of cities" as a colloquial equivalent to "I've been to a lot of cities."
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think there are AE/BE differences in this area. Each time I hear "bunch" followed by an uncountable, the speaker is from North America. I've heard "a bunch of stuff" a few times.
     
    Last edited:

    Forero

    Senior Member
    To me, "a bunch" is more than "a lot" and works the same way re singular and plural: a bunch of red tape, a bunch of politicians, etc.

    But just as some things come in actual lots, some things come in literal bunches: a bunch of grapes, a bunch of bananas, a bunch of Brussels sprouts, etc.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think there are AE/BE differences in this area. Each time I hear "bunch" followed by an uncountable, the speaker is from North America. I've heard "a bunch of stuff" a few times.
    Seconded!

    I don't think "a bunch of it" is possible in BrE. "A bunch of them", certainly.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think you need your answer to come from AmE speakers. In BrE, "a bunch of" can only be followed by a plural. It isn't equivalent to "a lot of".
     
    Last edited:

    abutaleb33

    New Member
    Arabic
    In my IELTS listening exam, a question came to me and I wrote "Punch of Flowers", as I heard it. Although I was aware of its spelling before the exam but perhaps the stress of the test confused me and let me mistaken in this ugly way... or may be because I heard the b sound like P..
    So, anyone please be careful for such faults.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    I forgot to say that I would not use "a bunch of" to mean "a whole lot of"/"a great lot of" in formal writing. It seems to be common in some circles but not others, and it may be regional. It is most common in a slang context, e.g. "a bunch of bull" (a lot of boloney/malarkey), and in exaggerations, e.g. "a bunch of his cronies" (an army of his cohorts).
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary says that the use of "a [whole] bunch of" meaning "a lot" is mainly US informal. I think it is correct when it identifies this use as "informal".

    On the other hand, the OED has this entertaining example in which bunch meaning "a lot" is used with a non-count noun in BrE.
    a1784 JOHNSON in Boswell (1816) IV. 151, I am glad the Ministry is removed. Such a bunch of imbecility never disgraced a country.
     

    Hitchhiker

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Maybe when you thought you heard a "bench" it was a "pinch" which is a small amount.

    In other countries for a "bunch" or a "lot" or "lots" I've also heard "heaps" (Australia), "loads" (United Kingdom) and "stacks" (South Africa).
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    There is a definition of collective noun in the WordReference dictionary.

    It gives a link to the definition in Dictionary.com:
    a noun, as herd, jury, or clergy, that appears singular in formal shape but denotes a group of persons or objects.
    Dictionary.com also has Usage note with a fuller explanation.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Going back to the original question, I wonder whether bench of flowers is a phonetic phenomenon. Most people from the Midlands and North of England naturally pronounce bunch as /bʊnʧ/. Many such people, trying to talk posh, will come out with the hypercorrect form /benʧ/.
     

    Amstellodamois

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Going back to the original question, I wonder whether bench of flowers is a phonetic phenomenon. Most people from the Midlands and North of England naturally pronounce bunch as /bʊnʧ/. Many such people, trying to talk posh, will come out with the hypercorrect form /benʧ/.
    Maybe that's why I heard it so.

    Last question: does "quite a bunch" sound weird to you?
    (like in "I've seen quite a bunch of nice cities around Europe")
     

    Esca

    Senior Member
    ATX
    USA - English
    I think "quite a bunch" sounds ok in everyday speech. It just adds more emphasis, which you might want on certain occasions. It seems to imply that it's a particularly large bunch.
    "I don't think the cities in Europe are very interesting." "Actually, I've seen quite a bunch of nice cities around Europe!"
     

    TropicalMontana

    Senior Member
    American English
    As an American who quite often uses slang, I would use 'bunch of' with singular or plural nouns.

    "You'll get a whole bunch of love from these folks."

    "I found a bunch of spelling mistakes in my post."

    I might also make bunch plural:

    "There were bunches of people gathered around" (this would indicate that the people were loosely arranged into various groups or bunches"
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top