quite a few / a fairly large number of / not a little /plenty of

hirashin

Senior Member
native Japanese and speaks a little English
Would all the sentences below mean almost the same?

(a) There were quite a few people at the party yesterday.
(b) There were a fairly large number of people at the party yesterday.
(c) There were not a little people at the party yesterday.
(d) There were plenty of people at the party yesterday.

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin
 
  • Greyfriar

    Senior Member
    Hi,

    a, b and d mean the same. b should read 'there was a fairly large number of people.....'

    I wouldn't use c at all. It sounds very unnatural although I understand what you are saying. I believe this is usually expressed as 'there were not a few people......'.

    I have certainly never said the above (c).
     

    hirashin

    Senior Member
    native Japanese and speaks a little English
    HI, Greyfriar. Thanks for the help.

    Would you give me an example sentence using "not a little", please?

    Hirashin
     

    hirashin

    Senior Member
    native Japanese and speaks a little English
    I believe this is usually expressed as 'there were not a few people......'.
    Thanks for the ongoing help, Greyfriar.

    Would (e) be commonly heard ? And does it mean the same as (a)?
    (e) There were not a few people at the party yesterday.

    Hirashin
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Not a few people would hesitate to use the expression "not a few " to mean "quite a few". It's bit old-fashioned and can sound evasive. I don't think your e) would be used in practise.

    As you may know, "quite a few" and "quite a lot" are similar in meaning. "Quite a few" can be used as an understated way of saying "quite a lot".

    Not a little confusing.
     
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