I'm surprised that "muchas" can mean both "several" and "a lot of". (I got this as a "mark all correct translations" question with sentences with both of these translations marked correct.) In English, I think "several" and "a lot of" imply quite different things. So if someone had 3 apples or 50 apples, they'd still have "muchas manzanas"?
Actually, muchos/as means many, a lot of, lots, etc. Several is better translated as 'varios/as' because, as you point out, it is not the same in English and neither is in Spanish.
I would say that like afternoon, evening, and night, these are concepts that overlap. What is several in one situation or to one person might be many or a lot in (or to) another.
Pedro: Do you have a television in your lake cabin?
Maria: Yes, we have several.
Pedro: Really? How many?
Maria: Not many, just three.
Pedro: Wow! That's a lot! We only have one.
Several/a lot of/many are all the same, only they have different intensities to different people.
Isn't "a lot" the same as "many"? I dont understand why it is not shown correct
i really, really do not know why sometimes "many" is the correct word and sometimes it is not. Sometimes it is "many", sometimes "a lot" sometimes "much", etc...i never know what is the correct word for the sentences. Can anybody help me?