This is just not right...I mean...I tried "some, a few, a couple, " to no avail. They mean the same as several...not to mention I havent heard "several" in any English conversation over the past 20 years Ive been using the language. I just hate typing in a long word that no one ever uses.
- some = några
- few = få (and a few = några få)
- a couple = ett par or några
"several" is a very common word in English, and not synonymous with any of the above. The Guardian used it 97 times in the past 24 hours, according to Google. The same number is 260 for the NY Times, though that includes advertisements. And it's hardly uncommon in speech, either.
It's also just seven letters. I mean... come on.
Actually those are the synonyms of several - I double checked in a dictionary as well. And just because The Guardian used it a hundred times, it still does not make it a word frequently used in speech. I work in English although its not my native tongue...but like I said the last time I heard it was in high school maybe. I guess it just depends on what do you really want to use here, a written formal English or the one people actually speak :) Newspaper and CNN English is far from spoken English. Not the fault of the Swedish course though, and thanks for the Swedish clarification, cheers...I'm just gonna copy paste several then :)
I fully respect that you and those with whom you are acquainted do not use it. But I assure you that is is not uncommon in everyday native speech. I've heard natives use it all the time. It is not a formal word by any means.
"several" can occasionally mean the same amount as either of the above, especially colloquially, yes. But it's still a poor translation in isolation. The course can't really accept what would usually be incorrect for the sake of occasionally working.
What is the difference between 'flera' and 'många'?
Am I totally wrong if I guess that 'flera' would mean "more than one" and 'många' would mean even bigger lot? Like 3 elephants would be 'flera' and 100 of them would be 'många'?
As a native Finnish speaker i don't quite get the difference between those two, neither in English nor Swedish. They both seem to translate to the exactly same words in Finnish. :/
Swedish and English share the same general system:
- få = few = a small amount
- många = many / lots / a lot of = a large amount
Then you have flera / several which typically has a dictionary definition of "more than a few but fewer than many". I suspect that's what you find problematic. In practice, there is no fixed limit between them, and there are even regions where "several" and "many" are used interchangeably. But as a general rule, if you're thinking "that's a lot", you probably shouldn't use flera / several.
Hope that helps. :)