I came across a question in my book of whose answer I did not find satisfactory. Please help me

Q) Improve the bracketed part of the sentence.

The guest stood quietly for (few moments).

The answer given is: “Few moments” will be replaced with “a few moments”.

My question is: Is Using “few moments”, i.e. without improvement, not assumed correct?

  • 2
    Does this answer your question? "A few" vs. "few" But 'for a few minutes / hours / days / weeks / years / moments ...' are acceptable prepositional phrases showing duration, whereas 'for few minutes / hours / days / weeks / years / moments ...' are not. Apr 24, 2020 at 18:50
  • Few is a negative word; it means less than some expected number and can govern negative polarity items like ever and at all. A few, however, is not negative and means a small but definitely positive number. In the book example, there's no special minimum time for the guest to stand quietly, so few doesn't make sense, but a few does. Apr 24, 2020 at 22:53


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