I am a little confused with the following quiz sentence/ answer: 'Tardé pocas horas en hacerlo.', for which the correct answer is 'pocas horas'. Why wouldn't 'unas pocas horas' also be correct?
In this sentence:
"Tardé pocas horas en hacerlo."
(It didn't take long to do it. [lit: I took few hours to do it])
The speaker is saying he/she took few hours (as in not too many hours, so it has a positive meaning)
If we changed it to:
"Tardé unas pocas horas en hacerlo."
This would mean "It took me a few hours to do it" (Here it is implying that it took long, so it is more of a negative meaning.)
If you have a look at this other sentence taken from the lesson:
"Quedan pocas cervezas en la nevera."
There aren't many beers left in the fridge. [lit: there are few beers left]
and now see how it turns into something different if you use "unas pocas":
"Quedan unas pocas cervezas en la nevera."
There are a few beers left in the fridge.
The second option with "un poco de", "unos pocos..." "unas pocas" is always more literal in English, "a bit of", "a few..."
Hope this clarified it for you.
Wow, your clarification is great, so is the study lesson.
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