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I want to qualify something that lasts some seconds.

I am aware of 「暫{しばら}く」, 「少{しょう}々{しょう}」 and so on, but I am in a situation where something explicitly lasts a certain amount of seconds, like, between 1 and 10 seconds.

Is 「何{なん}秒{びょう}かの~」 valid?

For instance, can I say:

何{なん}秒{びょう}かのビデオ

A few-second video

Usually, this construction works, like 「何{なん}人{にん}かの~」, but I could not find examples for seconds...

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  • 何秒間 or maybe 数秒間
    – Mark
    Feb 14, 2017 at 6:54
  • @Mark So, you'd say 「何秒間ビデオ」?
    – Right leg
    Feb 14, 2017 at 6:56
  • 数秒間ビデオ could work. 間 is the passage of time not just the time word, but in reality it can be omitted and the meaning is still there.
    – Mark
    Feb 14, 2017 at 7:31
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    ^ 「数秒間ビデオ」でしょ。「の」がないとおかしいでしょ
    – chocolate
    Feb 14, 2017 at 7:58
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    「何秒かのビデオ」は、意味も分かりますし、文法的にも正しいです。でも、「数秒間のビデオ」のほうが、自然な気がします。あと、「何人かの~」「何日かの~」より、「数秒間の~」「数人の~」「数日の~」のほうが、口語的でなく(less colloquial)、書き言葉っぽい(formal?)な感じがすると思います。
    – chocolate
    Feb 14, 2017 at 8:07

2 Answers 2

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You might want to consider using.

数秒(すうびょう)

It basically mean several seconds.
You can also use 数分、数時間、数日 etc...

It might not explicitly say between 1 and 10 seconds, but it does somewhat point out that it won't take over 1 minute.

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  • Indeed, that seems to fit my needs. To be clear, would 「数秒のビデオ」 be the right way to say "a few second video"?
    – Right leg
    Feb 14, 2017 at 7:15
  • @Rightleg You can say it, yes. You might want to consider using 動画 for video, but ビデオ is good too. Feb 14, 2017 at 7:51
  • Yes, you're right, the vocabulary from みんなの日本語 might be still resonating in my head... Anyway, I'm still curious about how correct 「何秒かの~」 is, what's your opinion?
    – Right leg
    Feb 14, 2017 at 7:59
  • @Rightleg I would say that "何秒かの動画" is ok. Maybe just slightly less common. Feb 14, 2017 at 9:41
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何人かの人は帰ってしまいました。
Some (of them) have returned.

The use of "何人かの人は" means the speaker doesn't konw how many people has returned but he(she) knows the fact that some has returned. So "何人かの人" doesn't always equal to "数人の人."

When thousand of people have returned but we don't know the exact number of people, we don't say "何人かの人が帰った。" "何人かの人" is usually used for several people.

"数秒のビデオ" is OK and the abbriviation of "撮影時間が数秒間のビデオ."

"何秒かのビデオ" indicates the speaker doesn't know how long the video is, but "何秒かの" implies ten seconds, twenty seconds or fourty seconds. It must be less than sixty seconds. If it is one hundred twenty seconds long video, we should say "何分かのビデオ."

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