by Liz Walter
We often need to talk about amounts and numbers that are not exact, either because an exact figure isn’t needed or because we don’t know it. This post looks at some words and phrases for doing this.
There were around 50 deer in the herd.
The talk will last about 30 minutes.
She lives round about a mile from the office.
The building work will take approximately ten weeks.
The town has a population of roughly 150,000.
Roughly speaking, 40% of households will benefit from these measures.
We had to wait for five minutes or so.
You will need five metres of fabric or thereabouts.
We picked three kilos of strawberries, more or less.
The suffix -ish can be attached to numbers to show that they aren’t exact. This is often done to talk about someone’s age:
Her parents are sixtyish.
The phrase give or take is often followed by a smaller amount or number than the one you have just given. It can also be used on its own after the first number:
I spent two years there, give or take the odd day.
There were a thousand people there, give or take.
These cars cost somewhere in the region of £60,000.
I have seen somewhere in the area of forty patients with this condition.
He went on a diet and lost something like 20 kilos in six months.
At a rough guess, I’d say she earns twice as much as me.
I’d guess there were over 400 people at the event.
I hope you have found these words and phrases useful. Let me know in the comments if you can think of any others.