A few/small number of complaints

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aisha93

Senior Member
Arabic/Persian
Hi,

I'm writing a formal report and want to make sure if it Ok to say:

- A few number of complaints was received in the first six months of 2012.
- A small number of complaints was received in the first six months of 2012.

Please which one is more formal (in case they are correct), I have to submit it very soon and I'm a bit confused.

Help :confused:
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    - A few number of complaints were received in the first six months of 2012.
    - A small number of complaints was received in the first six months of 2012.

    A few = a small number, so you don't need to repeat "number".

    In the second sentence, you can say A small number of complaints were received; in fact I think most people would do so.
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    - A few number of complaints was received in the first six months of 2012. :cross:
    - A small number of complaints was/were* received in the first six months of 2012. :tick:

    - A few complaints were received in the first six months of 2012.


    *whether 'a small number of Xs' is a plural is moot. (Cross-posted (and evidently so))
     
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