Birkaç, bazı and az
I'm struggle the identify the difference between birkaç, bazı and az. They generally seem to mean that something is small in quantity, but according to the exercises, their usages are different.
In terms of quantity, is the following order correct?
birkaç --> some/several (larger amount) bazı --> a few/some (lesser amount) az --> a little (least amount)
It seems that you can use az with verbs, but not the other two. So if I want to say it's raining a little, then we can say az yağıyor, but we can't say birkaç yağıyor or bazı yağıyor. Correct?
If we have a small amount of a countable noun, then it seems that we can use bazı or birkaç but not az. For example, we can say birkaç elma (several apples - don't use plural suffix) or bazı elmalar (some apples - need to use plural), but we can't say az kediler.
If we have a small amount of an uncountable noun, then it seems that we can only use az. For example: az acı (a little pain), but not bazı acı, is that correct? Likewise, would it be valid to say az su (a little water) but not birkaç/bazı su?
BAZI (Some, Some of)
It's always used with plural nouns. It's like 'a part of'.
Some (a part of) people won't agree with you. -> Bazı insanlar seninle aynı fikirde olmayacak.
Some of our suggestions have been accepted. -> Bazı önerilerimiz kabul edildi.
BİRKAÇ (A few, A couple of)
It's used with countable nouns. Since it's a quantifier, nouns coming after this are singular.
- I saw a few people. -> Birkaç insan gördüm.
- He asked a few (a couple) questions. -> Birkaç soru sordu.
BİRAZ (A little, Some)
This is like birkaç, but it's mostly used with uncountable nouns. You can also use it with countable nouns but when you do so it feels like you don't really care about the amount of that thing.
- I have a little time. -> Biraz zamanım var.
- Could you give me some biscuits? -> Bana biraz bisküvi verir misin?
AZ (Few, Little)
This is used with both countable and uncountable nouns.
- He has (very) few friends. -> (Çok) az arkadaşı var.
- He has (very) little time. -> (Çok) az zamanı var.
Biraz and az can be used directly with verbs without preceding any noun.
- I know a little. -> Biraz biliyorum.
- I know little. -> Az biliyorum.
Bazı and birkaç can also be used like that but they transform into Bazıları and Birkaçı. As objects they take accusative endings.
- Bazıları koştu. -> Some ran.
- Birkaçı koştu. -> A few ran.
- Birkaçını biliyorum. -> I know a few.
Alternatively you can use tane as a noun after birkaç.
- Birkaç tane biliyorum. -> I know a few.
Mostly, you're correct.
You can say "bazı acılar" though. It means "certain (types of) pains". Again, you can say "bazı sular" meaning "certain types of water" or "certain bodies of water" and so on.