Several vs. Many

Several and many both refer to quantities.

What Are Their Main Differences?

'Several' refers to a smaller number; while 'many' refers to a larger number.


What They Refer to

  • 'Several':

refers to a small number.

Several students passed the hard test.

  • 'Many':

refers to a large number.

Many believe he is responsible for his sister's death.


Grammatical Functions

  • 'Many' and 'several':

are determiners and pronouns.

She doesn't have many friends. → determiner

Several would buy this bottle but I wouldn't. → pronoun

Using Plural Nouns

  • 'Many' and 'several':

are followed by plural countable nouns.

Many people hate some aspects of their work. → determiner

I will stay for several weeks in Tokyo. → determiner

Using Plural Verbs

  • 'Many' and 'several':

are followed by plural verbs.

Several books are in the library.

Many love sushi, but I don't.

Many of and Several of

  • 'Many of' and 'several of':

are used before determiners and pronouns.

Several of her co-workers backbit behind her back.

Many of my arts refer to ancient monuments.

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