determiner , n. , pronoun
1) relatively ~
2) a ~ of (we saw a ~ of them)
USAGE NOTE: The use of the preposition of is necessary when a pronoun follows. Compare the following constructions with nouns--we saw very ~ students; we saw a ~ ('several') students.
1) (a) precious, very ~
2) ( misc. ) to have a ~ too many ('to drink too much'); ~ and far between ('rare'); just a ~, only a ~