some children = unspecified children or a number of children

wolfbm1

Senior Member
Polish
Hello.

This picture shows a beautiful hill in Austria. Some children are running on the grass. Some of them are holding their hands.

Source: I was inspired by a similar text in "First Things First" by L. G. Alexander.
("This is a school building. It is beside a park. (...) Some children are coming out of the building. Some of them are going into the park.")

Does the word "some" in the expression "some children" mean:
1. random, unspecified children (the plural counterpart of the expression "a child"),
2. a number of children (several children, five or six children)
3. both 1 and 2,
4. either 1 or 2.

I think that the word "some" means "random, unspecified children." Am I right?

Thank you
 
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  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    i'd have thought it meant (2).

    Or maybe (1), the plural of "a child".

    I'm not sure I understand the difference, or why the difference is important....
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It means a few children. Their number is unspecified.
    I don't understand what you mean by random, unspecified children. Does it mean we don't know what colour they are? Does random mean that they act in a strange way?
     

    Oddmania

    Senior Member
    French
    I think it could be either.

    Note that, if the meaning intended was the first one you described, it would be the plural of "some child", not "a child".

    Some (random / unspecified) child is running on the grass.
    Some (random / unspecified) children are running the grass.

    A child is running on the grass.

    Some [several] children are running on the grass.
     

    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    i'd have thought it meant (2).

    Or maybe (1), the plural of "a child".

    I'm not sure I understand the difference, or why the difference is important....
    It might be important for a detective.

    In #1 a witness wants to say that they did not know the children at all.
    In # 2 a witness wants to say that there were four, five or six children.
     
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    wolfbm1

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I think it could be either.

    Note that, if the meaning intended was the first one you described, it would be the plural of "some child", not "a child".

    Some (random / unspecified) child is running on the grass.
    Some (random / unspecified) children are running the grass.

    A child is running on the grass.

    Some [several] children are running on the grass.
    Thank you, Oddmania. I think I know what you mean.
     
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