[Hello. I'm not a native English speaker, so please forgive me for my mistakes if there are any]

Suppose I wanted to say "I have in my class several people called Jim Smith". I'm under the impression that "several" is a bit too fancy for people with limited vocabulary. What's a simpler way do say that?

Suggestions: "There are a few people called Jim Smith". That's not perfect, as it puts stress on the existence of those people, rather than on the fact that several people share the same name. "More than one person called Jim Smith". Sounds a bit awkward to me.

Thank you.

  • This is interesting because my impresssion for several is to be about the same amount as many, but in fact according to dictionary.reference.com/browse/several?s=t several is less than many (Just like you used).
    – Patrick
    Feb 25 '16 at 12:16
  • 1
    You don't get the same impression from "several" and from "a few" while "more than one" is verbose and too vague (you don't know if it's one or a hundred), so I would stick to neither. Why don't you use "some"? The best way to put it is: "In my class there are some people called Jim."
    – Patrick
    Feb 25 '16 at 12:25

If you want something more informal, I'd suggest "a bunch". I feel like it expresses the same quantity and is less fancy.


Using user162286's answer as inspiration, 'a number' could also serve to indicate 'more than one' without committing to a fixed amount and without setting expectations as to how many there actually are.

Another way to get more people to read the sentence the way you want to them to read it is to rephrase the sentence in order to have it follow a more conventional structure (in writing at least): For example: "I have in my class several people called Jim Smith" -> "There are a number of people called Jim Smith in my class."

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