MEANINGS HELP! tends, generally, some, few...

youknowryan
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:20 am

MEANINGS HELP! tends, generally, some, few...

Postby youknowryan » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:01 pm

Looking for some clarification.

Q1. Do the following words both mean "most"? If not, what do they mean?

1. tends
2. generally

Q2. Is "some" more than "few"?

youknowryan
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:20 am

Re: MEANINGS HELP! tends, generally, some, few...

Postby youknowryan » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:54 pm

whoa, i've scared everyone off! :mrgreen: no takers?

dakatz
Posts: 2460
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:19 pm

Re: MEANINGS HELP! tends, generally, some, few...

Postby dakatz » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:18 pm

"Tends" and "generally" are relative terms that we don't ascribe any sort of quantifiers to. Most has a specific quantifier, and that is "greater than 50%"


As for the second question, no "some" is not more than "few". Don't mix up the meanings.

Some - At least one, but as many as 100%.

Few - A completely relative term that indicates different quantities based on what you are talking about. I could say that my town had few murders, since we only had 1. I could say that few people vote, because only about half the people who can vote actually do. You can't compare quantities. However, there is an important relationship between "some" and "few" completely unrelated to quantity. When I say "few", it implies at least some number greater than 0. So when you say you have "few" of something, you can therefore say that you have "some", since you know for certain that you have at least one. But just because you have "some", does not mean that you have few. I'll put some examples to clarify:

1. There are a few fiction books in the library (So some relatively small number of books in the library are fiction. But there is at least one fiction book here, so I can say that there is "some" fiction book)

2. I know that there are at least some law books in the library (All I have claimed is that there is at least one law book here. For all we know, every book in here could be a law book. So it wouldn't make sense to say that there are only a few law books in here, just because I told you that there are some law books here.)

Hope this helps!

whymeohgodno
Posts: 2508
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:15 pm

Re: MEANINGS HELP! tends, generally, some, few...

Postby whymeohgodno » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:22 pm

dakatz wrote:"Tends" and "generally" are relative terms that we don't ascribe any sort of quantifiers to. Most has a specific quantifier, and that is "greater than 50%"


As for the second question, no "some" is not more than "few". Don't mix up the meanings.

Some - At least one, but as many as 100%.

Few - A completely relative term that indicates different quantities based on what you are talking about. I could say that my town had few murders, since we only had 1. I could say that few people vote, because only about half the people who can vote actually do. You can't compare quantities. However, there is an important relationship between "some" and "few" completely unrelated to quantity. When I say "few", it implies at least some number greater than 0. So when you say you have "few" of something, you can therefore say that you have "some", since you know for certain that you have at least one. Sorry if this is confusing.


Doesn't "few" have to be at least 2? How can you say few murders without referring to at least 2 murders?

dakatz
Posts: 2460
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:19 pm

Re: MEANINGS HELP! tends, generally, some, few...

Postby dakatz » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:14 pm

whymeohgodno wrote:
dakatz wrote:"Tends" and "generally" are relative terms that we don't ascribe any sort of quantifiers to. Most has a specific quantifier, and that is "greater than 50%"


As for the second question, no "some" is not more than "few". Don't mix up the meanings.

Some - At least one, but as many as 100%.

Few - A completely relative term that indicates different quantities based on what you are talking about. I could say that my town had few murders, since we only had 1. I could say that few people vote, because only about half the people who can vote actually do. You can't compare quantities. However, there is an important relationship between "some" and "few" completely unrelated to quantity. When I say "few", it implies at least some number greater than 0. So when you say you have "few" of something, you can therefore say that you have "some", since you know for certain that you have at least one. Sorry if this is confusing.


Doesn't "few" have to be at least 2? How can you say few murders without referring to at least 2 murders?


Yes, few is used to denote a number greater than 1, but relatively small in quantity. Bad example on my part, and no LSAT question will ever put you in a position where you have to make a determination of whether or not few could possibly mean 1.




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