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several percent

English translation: a few percent

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:several percent
English translation:a few percent
Entered by: Noha Issa
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21:23 Oct 28, 2006
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Medical - Medical: Dentistry / Dental materials
English term or phrase: several percent
I am editing a text about dental materials. I have the following phrase :"The range of ethyl alcohol content is commonly from several percent to 30 percent"
Any suggestions about reconstruction of this phrase?
I have some doubt about"several percent"
Thank you in advance :)
Noha Issa
Local time: 11:23
a few percent
Explanation:
There does not seem to ba anything wrong with "several percent" but there are many more Google hits for "a few percent"

From a few percent to as much as 50 percent of the ozone in the troposphere intrudes from the stratosphere. (The exact amount depends on location and time ...
earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/ChemistrySunlight/

Humidity then climbs from a few percent to 20-30%. This instantly intensifies the sauna's heat as if the temperature had increased drastically (although it ...
www.almostheaven.net/aho/saunaqa.htm
Selected response from:

Susanne Rindlisbacher
Portugal
Local time: 10:23
Grading comment
Thank you all :)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +10a few percent
Susanne Rindlisbacher
4 +3See explanation below...
Tony M


  

Answers


24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +10
a few percent


Explanation:
There does not seem to ba anything wrong with "several percent" but there are many more Google hits for "a few percent"

From a few percent to as much as 50 percent of the ozone in the troposphere intrudes from the stratosphere. (The exact amount depends on location and time ...
earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/ChemistrySunlight/

Humidity then climbs from a few percent to 20-30%. This instantly intensifies the sauna's heat as if the temperature had increased drastically (although it ...
www.almostheaven.net/aho/saunaqa.htm

Susanne Rindlisbacher
Portugal
Local time: 10:23
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you all :)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mark Nathan
6 mins
  -> Danke, Mark

agree  Ken Cox: I think this is better. Although 'several percent' is used, IMO 'several' is more suitable for countable items (but it may also be a US/UK difference)
7 mins
  -> Danke, Ken

agree  Jonathan MacKerron: what I would have said as well
8 mins
  -> Danke, Jonathan

agree  Jack Doughty: I don't think there'sany US/UK difference here.
18 mins
  -> Danke, Jack

agree  Dave Calderhead
1 hr
  -> Danke, Dave

agree  Erich Ekoputra
4 hrs
  -> Danke, Erich

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
8 hrs
  -> Danke, Marju

agree  xxxcmwilliams: but 'is commonly from' also sounds odd to me. I'd say something like... 'generally varies from...'
11 hrs

agree  Sophia Finos
22 hrs

agree  Jörgen Slet
9 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
See explanation below...


Explanation:
'several' as used here means an indeterminate small number.

By definition, it must be more than one.

And it might generally be accepted to possibly not more be more than 10, although there is no hard and fast rule here.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 43 mins (2006-10-28 22:06:56 GMT)
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I think there is very little to choose between 'a few' and 'several', though it always seems to me that there is a VERY SLIGHT suggestion that 'a few' emphasizes the 'fewness' (i.e. not very many) whereas 'several' emphasizes the 'more than one-ness' — but that may just be a personal impression.

'Several books have gone missing from the library' somehow seems more important than 'A few books..."

But then again, you might say "A few people believe that the Earth is flat..." — with a slight implication that there are many more who don't... "If several people make the same claim, the authorities will have to sit up and take notice"

See what I mean?

Tony M
France
Local time: 11:23
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Can Altinbay
7 mins
  -> Thanks, Can! :-)

agree  Mark Nathan
23 mins
  -> Thanks, Mark!

agree  Jörgen Slet
10 days
  -> Thanks, Jörgen!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




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