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Many vs. Several: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Many implies a large number, often unspecified, while several suggests a number more than two but not many, indicating a smaller, more specific range.
Many vs. Several

Key Differences

Many is used to indicate a large, often unspecified number of items or people, suggesting a vast quantity. In contrast, several refers to a small, specific number, more than a couple but not a large amount.
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Nov 17, 2023
Many is often used when the exact number isn't known or isn't important, emphasizing the largeness of the quantity. Several, however, is used when the number is not known exactly but is still limited and relatively small.
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Nov 17, 2023
The use of many can sometimes imply an overwhelming or excessive amount. On the other hand, several tends to carry a connotation of diversity or variety within a manageable range.
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Nov 17, 2023
When someone says, "Many people attended the concert," it suggests a large crowd, potentially in the thousands. In contrast, "Several people attended the meeting" implies a modest group, possibly around three to seven individuals.
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Nov 17, 2023
Both many and several function as quantifiers in English grammar, but many is more likely to be used with countable nouns in negative contexts or questions, whereas several is typically positive and definite.
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Nov 17, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Quantity

Large, often unspecified.
More than two, but not many.
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Nov 17, 2023

Specificity

Less specific, general large number.
More specific, small definite number.
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Nov 17, 2023

Usage

In questions and negatives.
In affirmative statements.
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Connotation

Overwhelming, excessive.
Manageable, diverse.
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Example Context

"Many options are available."
"Several options were considered."
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Nov 17, 2023
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Many and Several Definitions

Many

Many refers to a large number of people or things.
Many stars are visible in the night sky.
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Nov 13, 2023

Several

Several means more than two but not a large number.
He waited several minutes for a response.
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Nov 13, 2023

Many

Many indicates frequent occurrences or instances.
Many times, I've considered taking a vacation.
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Nov 13, 2023

Several

Several signifies individual, distinct occurrences.
The project faced several challenges.
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Nov 13, 2023

Many

Many can imply an innumerable amount.
She had read many books on the subject.
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Nov 13, 2023
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Several

Several suggests a limited range or number.
He explored several options before deciding.
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Nov 13, 2023

Many

Many means numerous or a large number of items.
There were many reasons for his success.
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Nov 13, 2023

Several

Being of a number more than two or three but not many
Several miles away.
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

Many can mean the majority of people or things.
Many people prefer coffee over tea.
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Nov 13, 2023

Several

Respectively different; various
They parted and went their several ways.
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

Amounting to or consisting of a large indefinite number
Many friends.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

(Law) Regarded as separate, especially with regard to tort liability or legal obligation, such that each individual involved is fully responsible for the liability or obligation.
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

Being one of a large indefinite number; numerous
Many a child.
Many another day.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

(Archaic) Single; distinct
"Pshaw! said I, with an air of carelessness, three several times" (Laurence Sterne).
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

The majority of the people; the masses
"The many fail, the one succeeds" (Tennyson).
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

(obsolete) Separate, distinct; particular.
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

A large indefinite number
A good many of the workers had the flu.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

A number of different; various.
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

An indefinite large number of.
Not many such people enjoyed playing chess.
There are very many different ways to cook a meal.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

(law) Separable, capable of being treated separately.
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

(in combinations such as 'as many', 'so many', 'this many') Used to indicate, demonstrate or compare the number of people or things.
We don't need this many bananas. Put some back.
There may be as many as ten million species of insect.
I don't have as many friends as my sister does.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

Consisting of a number more than two but not very many.
Several cars were in the parking lot.
They had many journals. I subscribed to several.
Several of the members were absent.
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

An indefinite large number of people or things.
Many are called, but few are chosen.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

By itself; severally.
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

A multitude; a great aggregate; a mass of people; the generality; the common herd.
Democracy must balance the rights of the few against the will of the many.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

(obsolete) An area of land in private ownership (as opposed to common land).
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

A considerable number.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

Each particular taken singly; an item; a detail; an individual. en
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Many

Existing in large number; numerous.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

(archaic) An enclosed or separate place; enclosure. en
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

A retinue of servants; a household.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

(archaic) A woman's loose outer garment, capable of being worn as a shawl, or in other forms.
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

The populace; the common people; the majority of people, or of a community.
After him the rascal many ran.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Several

Separate; distinct; particular; single.
Each several ship a victory did gain.
Each might his several province well command,Would all but stoop to what they understand.
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

A large or considerable number.
A many of our bodies shall no doubtFind native graves.
Seeing a great many in rich gowns.
It will be concluded by many that he lived like an honest man.
He is liable to a great many inconveniences.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

Diverse; different; various.
Habits and faculties, several, and to be distinguished.
Four several armies to the field are led.
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

Consisting of a great number; numerous; not few.
Thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

Consisting of a number more than two, but not very many; divers; sundry; as, several persons were present when the event took place.
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Oct 19, 2023

Many

A quantifier that can be used with count nouns and is often preceded by `as' or `too' or `so' or `that'; amounting to a large but indefinite number;
Many temptations
The temptations are many
A good many
A great many
Many directions
Take as many apples as you like
Too many clouds to see
Never saw so many people
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Several

By itself; severally.
Every kind of thing is laid up several in barns or storehoudses.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

Each particular taken singly; an item; a detail; an individual.
There was not time enough to hear . . . The severals.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

Persons oe objects, more than two, but not very many.
Several of them neither rose from any conspicuous family, nor left any behind them.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

An inclosed or separate place; inclosure.
They had their several for heathen nations, their several for the people of their own nation.
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

Considered individually;
The respective club members
Specialists in their several fields
The various reports all agreed
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

Distinct and individual;
Three several times
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Oct 19, 2023

Several

(used with count nouns) of an indefinite number more than 2 or 3 but not many;
Several letters came in the mail
Several people were injured in the accident
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Several

Several refers to a small, distinct group.
Several friends joined me for dinner.
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Nov 13, 2023

Several

Several can mean a few, indicating a modest amount.
She made several attempts to solve the problem.
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Nov 13, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is 'several' used for exact numbers?

No, 'several' is used for a small but indefinite number.
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Nov 17, 2023

Can 'several' mean more than ten?

Typically, 'several' refers to a number less than ten.
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Nov 17, 2023

Is 'many' subjective in meaning?

Yes, 'many' can be subjective, depending on what is considered a large number in context.
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Nov 17, 2023

How does 'several' differ from 'a few'?

'Several' and 'a few' are similar, but 'several' can imply a slightly larger number.
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Nov 17, 2023

Can 'many' be used with uncountable nouns?

Yes, 'many' can be used with uncountable nouns in some contexts.
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Nov 17, 2023

Does 'many' always imply a large number?

Generally, yes, 'many' implies a relatively large number.
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Nov 17, 2023

Does 'several' have a different meaning in legal contexts?

In legal contexts, 'several' can mean individually or separately.
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Nov 17, 2023

Is 'many' used in formal writing?

Yes, 'many' is appropriate in both formal and informal contexts.
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Nov 17, 2023

Is 'several' used in negative statements?

'Several' is typically used in affirmative statements.
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Nov 17, 2023

Does 'several' imply diversity?

'Several' can imply a variety or diversity within a small range.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Can 'many' be quantified?

'Many' is generally not quantified precisely.
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Nov 17, 2023

Can 'many' be used interchangeably with 'numerous'?

Yes, 'many' and 'numerous' are often interchangeable.
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Nov 17, 2023

Does 'many' exaggerate quantity?

'Many' can sometimes be used to exaggerate the quantity.
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Nov 17, 2023

Can 'many' be used with negative connotations?

Yes, 'many' can sometimes carry a negative connotation depending on the context.
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Nov 17, 2023

What is the plural form of 'several'?

'Several' does not change in plural form.
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Nov 17, 2023

Does 'several' imply more specificity than 'many'?

Yes, 'several' is more specific than 'many', indicating a smaller number.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Is 'many' appropriate for small quantities?

No, 'many' is not typically used for small quantities.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Is 'several' formal or informal?

'Several' is neutral and can be used in both formal and informal contexts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Can 'several' refer to time?

Yes, 'several' can refer to a number of days, hours, etc.
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Nov 17, 2023

How is 'many' used in questions?

'Many' is often used in questions to inquire about the quantity.
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Nov 17, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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