Few And Several | Differences

The words few and several are determiners. They both refer to a small quantity or number. There is a difference.

Few is pessimistic. It is used to stress the smallness of the quantity or number.

  • Few people can understand philosophy. (Perhaps one or two people can understand it. Note that here the emphasis is on the smallness of the number.)
  • Few politicians are honest. (Perhaps one or two are honest but the vast majority of them are corrupt.)

Several also refers to a small number, but it is more optimistic.


  • Few children participated in the event. (Perhaps one or two)
  • Several children participated in the event. (Not many but certainly more than a few)
  • The movie won a few awards. (Only a few awards, not enough to be proud of)
  • The movie won several awards. (More than a few, enough to be proud of)

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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