a few minutes ago

Discussion in 'English Only' started by chogall, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. chogall Senior Member


    Is it correct to say "I talked to him a few minutes ago", if I talked to him 40 minutes ago ?

    Is "few" ok for "40 minutes" or definitely not ?
    Is there a strict rule about how long can "few minutes" mean ?

    Thank you !
  2. Nucleara

    Nucleara Senior Member

    As I could remember, "a few" means 2 or 3 . Anyway I won't use "a few minutes ago" for "40 minutes ago" ;)
  3. wolfbm1

    wolfbm1 Senior Member

    A few means an approximate amount. Try and compare a few with this list:
    According to L.G. Alexander's Longman English Grammar "Few is negative suggesting 'hardly any at all', ... A few is positive, suggesting 'some, a (small) number' ... " 40 is not a small number. 40 minutes means plenty of minutes.
  4. ribran

    ribran Senior Member

    Austin, Texas
    English - American
    I know plenty of places where "40 minutes ago" could be considered "a few minutes ago," but I imagine most people's interpretation of the phrase would exclude events that occurred more than 10 minutes ago.

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