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Can I say this:

I forgot about it minutes later.

Or do I have to say it this way instead:

I forgot about it a few minutes later.

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Why do you think this isn't OK to say? –  KitFox Aug 6 at 16:09
    
In french we always have to say the equivalent of "a few" in that context. I wanted to make sure in english it was ok without. Because I used it and the answer of the person made me think she thought it took a long time. –  Mona Aug 6 at 16:25

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You can. But usually the unadorned phrase minutes later (or seconds later) is reserved for emphasizing shortness of time in a way that "a few minutes later" doesn't really manage to convey, despite the fact that brevity would seem to be underscored by a qualifier like "a few" (which term is more likely to call attention to the inconsequentiality of the fact itself).

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Great explanation, thank you! –  Mona Aug 6 at 16:21
1  
And just minutes later, he edited it again. –  tchrist Aug 6 at 16:50

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