Some days vs. several days vs. a few days

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by kuleshov, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. kuleshov Senior Member

    Spain Spanish
    In my non-native perception this is the way I would rank them in terms of how many days. Some days = 7 or 8 days; Several days = 5 or 6; A few days= 2 or 3 days. What about you, native speakers?
  2. Gringosimo Senior Member

    Fort Worth, TX, EEUU
    USA English
    Just my perception of what they mean along with a couple of others that I would use to fill the gaps. I don't know that there are any hard and fast rules that define them.

    couple of days = 2

    few days = 3-4

    some days = 3-5

    several days = 4-5

    about a week = 6-8
  3. kuleshov Senior Member

    Spain Spanish
    Thanks a lot!
  4. Limey. Limeño Senior Member

    Noreste de Inglaterra
    British. English
    Pues, no me gusta "some days" y no creo que lo usa, suena como "someday" ( algun día)
    Y en cualquier caso no creo que sea necesario dado que hay otras frases semejantes.
  5. Gringosimo Senior Member

    Fort Worth, TX, EEUU
    USA English
    "some days" is often used in more formal speech.

    i.e. "Some days ago, a series of events took place...".

    It is an acceptable way of saying it but not used much in conversation. When I say this I am only referring to U.S. English as that is the language with which I am most familiar. I don't know if it is used as such in the U.K.
  6. garryknight Senior Member

    Kent, UK
    UK, English
    I'd agree with Gringosimo, although I'd add that "Some days ago" might indicate that the speaker doesn't know how many days it was.
  7. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    Crug Hywel
    UK English
    For me a couple of days isn't necessary just two, it might be two or three. Often you will hear people saying "the other day...". The other day is wonderfully imprecise and it depends who you are talking to what this means. It could mean last week or a month or two ago.
  8. Gringosimo Senior Member

    Fort Worth, TX, EEUU
    USA English
    That is actually accurate here in the U.S. as well although I, personally, won't use it this way. I prefer to use it in the literal sense whereas I believe most people are more figurative with it in meaning 2 or 3 days.
  9. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    Crug Hywel
    UK English
    I have to confess I am a tad extreme with the other day: it can span years - my sense of time is less than sharply focused!

    This may have something to do with the fact that I relish using the dialect form "t'other day" which slips so easily off the tongue despite having spent more time away from where my accent comes from than I ever actually lived there.
  10. La_Nereida Senior Member

    Buenos Aires - Argentina
    Español - Inglés
    And is there any difference in saying "we got away for some days" / "we got away for a few days". Is it just the number of days? I don't know why I feel "some days" isn't just right, I wouldn't use it... but, it's only my perception.
  11. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    Crug Hywel
    UK English
    I agree there is something that isn't quite right about some days. I think it's to do with the for.

    He spent some days in hospital sounds OK as does he was in hospital for a few days. He was in hospital for some days sounds a tad robotic to my ears. I can't tell you why but somehow it sounds clunky.
  12. La_Nereida Senior Member

    Buenos Aires - Argentina
    Español - Inglés
    But then if the preposition is the problem, how could I make* the sentence using the phrasal verb "get away" (which in the dictionary appears to be followed by "for" when talking about a period of time). Can we say "to get away some days"? For me, it sounds ever worse :/. Because the examples I've found are the following:

    -Work's really stressful at the moment - I need to get away for a few days.
    (Longman Phrasal Verbs Dictionary)

    Although I've also found: - Are you going to get away this summer? (even though "summer" also makes reference to a period of time... we are not making reference to the period of time itself (the duration of the holiday) just to the season (am I making myself clear? I think this is clear for both of us... I just wanted to point to this example in case you happen to find it as well.)
    (Longman Phrasal Verbs Dictionary)

    I cannot find a good "theoretical" explanation of why "to get (for) some days" doesn't sound right and a student of my wrote it in an essay and I should give him a good explanation more than "frequency"... in some ocassions "frecuency" is the problem indeed, but I'm not quite sure it's the case here.

    * This is a doubt I've always had... if I say "How could I make the sentence using...?" What is the first answer that comes to your mind? "using your brain :/". I'm always very careful about this kind of sentences because as I'm not a native I really don't know how "literal" they're going to be taken.
  13. LisaPaloma

    LisaPaloma Senior Member

    NC, USA
    Am English - NC
    To me, "some days" sounds as if the days may not be consecutive. "Some days you eat the bear; some days the bear eats you." I would go with "a few" or "several".

    The interesting thing about "the other day" in comparison with "el otro día" is that (in my understanding, correct me if I'm wrong) in Spanish it can be future or past, but in English it always refers to the past. I use it, and have almost always heard it, to refer to the recent past, usually within the past week or so.
  14. donbeto

    donbeto Senior Member

    Vancouver (Canada)
    Eng (Canada)
    Certainly in English it refers exclusively to the past. If it can refer to the future in Spanish, that would be news to me (but not necessarily surprise me).

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