English Grammar

some vs few

I do not understand a recent grammar point. To explain that the following sentence is wrong: "Kevin Connors has some minutes of free time before his meeting with his Chinese contact", it is written: "We only use 'some' to qualify uncountable nouns. " and then a few lines after, there are examples with plural nouns: "some animals". In the Robert &Collins, there are also some examples: "there are some children outside" Someone could explain me: can we use "some" with countable nouns or not?


  • It's more like it. There are things that can't be explaned by rules only, the use of a language sets it's path and leave it's trace.
    And AhQ is still here with his nice comments ;-) and bringing us to learn a few words at the same time, (at stake, really !)
  • Hi François,
    There is a contradiction indeed, between the explanation and the examples. Here is an explanation which reads that "some" is used both with countable and uncountable nouns :
    I would give the point to Learn English, and thus, a mistake for Gymglish... Even though the sentence "some minutes..." doesn't sound correct to me, but the reason they give is not the right one.
    Let's wait and see what grammarians, or someone from gg team if they pop in, will say...
  • Wow! Why was I so scatterbrained yesterday as I made the word "times" go with "minutes" in the topic at stake? I've no inkling. Please scratch it off right away.
  • If you pass by this thread, please take a few minutes to read me. We can trust Pimpanella who has become a first-class speaker since we met her down this forum some time ago. As Pimpanella said, the adjective 'some' doesn't prompt to go along with words like 'times', 'minutes' in the plural. That must be a set structure (une structure figée, établie) derived from current use. Such a habit wasn't made with other units of time. For instance, they say "it happened some years ago / or some months, some days ago. But "it'll take you a few minutes' walk" (not some). I think that when 'some' comes with 'minutes' in the plural, it has turned an adverb meaning 'more or less', and works with the intervention of a number playing the go-between. "Some 10 minutes elapsed since I started this post." That's nothing but my mind.

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