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私は今年何度か海外に行きました。 [SOURCE]

I have been abroad several times this year.

北海道へ何度も行った

I have been to Hokkaido many times.

本を何冊も読む。[SOURCE]

I read several books.

本を何冊か買いました。

I bought some books.

何杯か飲んだ後で [SOURCE]

After a couple of drinks

何杯もお茶を飲む [SOURCE]

Drink countless coups of tea

昔は、私がもっともっと若い時は、1日に何杯もコーヒーを飲んでいました [SOURCE]

(DeepL) In the past, when I was much younger, I used to drink several cups of coffee a day.

I cannot see any difference other than the one with も being emphatic.


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Isn't there a big difference between some and many?

  • 何 + COUNTER + か: some; several; a few; a couple of
  • 何 + COUNTER + も: many; a lot of; a number of
    (But "countless" is usually too strong)

Your second link contains an incorrect translation. 本を何冊も読む means "to read many books" rather than "to read several books". 何杯もコーヒーを飲む is "to drink many cups of coffee", and DeepL says so, too.

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  • My current understanding is that both 何 + COUNTER + か and 何 + COUNTER + も refer to an indefinite amount of something specified by the counter, but the latter emphasizes the amount. Accordingly, expressions such as some, a few, a couple go with the former while many, several, a lot of, a number of with the latter. By the way, DeepL translates 「1日に何杯もコーヒーを飲んでいました」 as "I was drinking several cups of coffee a day" for me atleast.
    – Nameless
    Jan 6 at 3:51
  • @Nameless Looks like adding "私がもっともっと若い時は" somehow changes the translation of 何杯も. As always, it's hard to imagine what deep learning-based AI is doing, but it sometimes makes terrible mistakes that appear to be plausible...
    – naruto
    Jan 6 at 4:43
  • I see. Is the statement "Both 何 + COUNTER + か and 何 + COUNTER + も refer to an indefinite amount of something specified by the counter, but the latter emphasizes the amount" correct though? I've taken several to mean a lot of instead of some, but for the rest of expressions, it seems to be correct.
    – Nameless
    Jan 6 at 13:16
  • Several means "more than two but fewer than many; some" according to this. "Emphasizes the amount" may not be wrong but it sounds too vague to me...
    – naruto
    Jan 6 at 14:17

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