You’re right: few means not many, and quite means “very” or “a lot”.
‘Quite a few’ is an example of understating something in English. (控えめに?) You can just say ‘many’, and that’s very straightforward and clear, but if you want to be more subtle and understate something, you can say ‘quite a few’.
I guess it means “lots of few [things]”, so it’s still a lot.
Really, it’s just an idiom, and idioms can’t be broken down easily. Japanese has idioms too that sound funny in English.
(unfortunately, I can’t think of them right now…ha ha ha)
Hehehehe yes she sounded very sarcastic there but the above two comments are right..its just an idiom. How has your weekend been Naoko? Hope you had a really lovely weekend compare to mine. I look forward to my 6 weeks holiday soon but most importantly I look forward to see my youngest sister & her family in 2 weeks time! YAY!
No, it’s not an idiom. Quite is used one of three ways. 1. completely. 2. as a positive intensifier. 3. as a contrasting intensifier if it is a sarcasm. Think of it this way. “I’m not quite done,” means ‘I’m not completely done.’ And “quite a few,” means ‘many.’ By itself it does not mean ‘very’ or ‘many’. Such as “quite a bit”does not mean ‘many of a bit’. It simply means many. But, most natives have simply heard the word’s use so often they can’t describe what it means. An idiom is a phrase that when you break down, its parts, make no sense. I hope I didn’t offend ya Dougy.
I love that about japanese names. The kanji, I mean. With americans we have so many different races in us it’s hard to even find the meaning of our names. For instance, my last name is almost like “Smith” in Germany (a common american last name like “Tanaka” in Japan) so I thought it was german up until two years ago when my dad paid for our genealogy profile. Here, come to find out, we’re directly decended from english nobility! He even bought our family crest screenprimed on a tiny metal shield. I haven’t seen it. But I digress, my point is you can just look at your names and know what they mean we have to research. And incape your wondering Timothy means “The Honor of God”. Fitting, I think for someone as dogmatic as me.