Several vs Many

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What’s the difference between them?

Several

Meaning:

having or involving more than one but not many; consisting of several parts or members; of an indefinite number greater than two or three but not many.

Examples:

1) Several people were waiting in line to purchase tickets.

2) I've read several books about the topic.

3) Several of my friends are planning a trip together.

Many

Meaning:

having or involving a great number; numerous.

Examples:

1. Many people attended the festival.

2. She received many compliments on her new dress.

3. There were many different flavors of ice cream to choose from.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Several

1. Multiple

2. Varied

3. Diverse

4. Assorted

5. A number of

1. None

2. Single

3. Few

4. All Alone

5. Not Many

Many

1. Abundant

2. Numerous

3. Copious

4. Profuse

5. Plentiful

1. Few

2. Little

3. Negligible

4. Not often

5. Rarely

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Several", "Many".

1. When referring to a lower number than many, use 'several'.

2. When referring to a higher number, use 'many'.

3. Consider the context and meaning of the sentence when deciding which word to use.

4. 'Many is more than several.'

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

When should 'several' be used?

Several is used when referring to a small, indefinite number greater than two but not many. It can be used in any situation where the exact number is not known or specified.

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'many'?

Many is used when referring to a large, indefinite number. It often implies a greater quantity than several, but a lesser quantity than most. It is used when a speaker wants to express a large quantity without providing an exact number.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words are pronounced differently. Several is pronounced /sevrel/, while many is pronounced /meni/,

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One common mistake is using the two words interchangeably, as they often imply different quantities. It is also important to remember the difference in pronunciation. It is easy to accidentally use the wrong pronunciation if you are not familiar with the words.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The teacher distributed ____ books among the students.

2. She received ____ compliments for her hard work.

3. They chose ____ items from the list.

4. ____ people attended the conference.

5. He had ____ questions about the project.

6. There were ____ obstacles to overcome.

1. The teacher distributed several books among the students.

Explanation: The word several indicates a small, yet specific number of books, which is appropriate in this context as the teacher is distributing books among the students.

2. She received many compliments for her hard work.

Explanation: The word many indicates a large number of compliments, which is appropriate in this context as the teacher had worked hard and is being rewarded with numerous compliments.

3. They chose several items from the list.

Explanation: The word several indicates a small, yet specific number of items, which is appropriate in this context as the group is choosing items from a list.

4. Many people attended the conference.

Explanation: The word many indicates a large number of people, which is appropriate in this context as the conference had a large number of participants.

5. He had several questions about the project.

Explanation: The word several indicates a small, yet specific number of questions, which is appropriate in this context as the person has a small number of questions.

6. There were many obstacles to overcome.

Explanation: The word many indicates a large number of obstacles, which is appropriate in this context as the group is facing numerous obstacles.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.