As an adjective, 'several' is used to describe or modify a noun by indicating an amount that is more than a few but not specified or precise in number. It suggests a moderate or considerable quantity.
Use 'several' when you want to convey an indeterminate but relatively large number or amount. It is often used to express a quantity that is more than a couple or a few but less than many. It can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns.
1. There are several students in the classroom who haven't submitted their assignments.
2. I bought several apples at the market.
3. She gave me several reasons for her decision to resign.
'Several' implies more than a few but lacks precision. If an exact number is known or important, consider using a more specific term. Be mindful of context; 'several' can vary depending on the situation and what is considered a substantial quantity.
Although less common, 'several' can function as a pronoun, standing in for a group of people or things without specifying the exact number.
Use 'several' as a pronoun when the specific number is either unknown or not relevant to the context. It often replaces a noun and refers to a group of people or things previously mentioned or understood.
1. I asked for volunteers, and several raised their hands.
2. I've read several of his novels; they are always captivating.
3. The museum had many exhibits, but I only had time to explore several.
Ensure that the context makes it clear what 'several' is referring to; it should be evident from the preceding conversation or text. Use this sparingly, as it may sound more formal or literary.