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1. You will be taller than her in a couple of years.

(What is the part of speech of 'than' here? Is 'in a couple of years' 'two years' or 'two, three, or four years'?)



English - Ms. Sue, Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 5:50pm
"Than" is used as a conjunction.

A couple of years means about two years -- but it could be a little more or a little less.

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Thank you for help.

The use of 'a couple of' sometimes seems to be ambiguous if it sometimes means not "the exact two years".
What do you think about that? Would you give me a detailed explanation about that?

1. You will be taller than her in a couple of years.

2. He has a couple of books.
3. He has two books.
4. He has a few books.
5. He has a small number of books.

(Does #2 mean #3, 4,or 5?)

  • english -

    Often we do not want to be precise. We really don't know when the child will be taller than we are. Hence, we use the term "a couple of years" to show that at some point in the future (probably about 2 years) the child will be taller than we are.

    2. unclear -- it could be two or three
    3. is exact
    4, 5 indicate he has more than three books but the upper limit of books is unknown.

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