I need the exact definition and difference between "one of very many" and "one of several". They do not seem to express different amounts!

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    In both cases you end up with one thing. – deadrat Dec 15 '16 at 8:12
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    My professor said there is a difference in their meaning and asked us for that. I searched but could not find anything! – Lotus Dec 16 '16 at 15:53
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    And you can read the answers I received and learn their difference; seems you did not know :))))))) – Lotus Dec 16 '16 at 16:04
  • Sure, let's go with the theory that I"m the one who did not know. You still end up with one thing. – deadrat Dec 16 '16 at 21:01

They don't express specific amounts, but they do express different amounts.

Specifically, one of many would mean a single something inside a much larger group of somethings. For instance:

Patty really wanted the job, but she was just one of many applicants for the position and nothing was guaranteed.

One of several would be a single something within a much smaller number of somethings, since several means around three or four in terms of amount. Such as:

The teacher didn't like many students, but Patty was happy she was one of several whom he respected.

So categorically they're the same, but they mean very different things in usage.

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more than two but not many.


a large number of.

This means that

One of very many

...expresses a higher quantity as in:

Instagram is one of very many social networks acquired by Facebook

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