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Hi,

Can you help me to better use or correctly use the words 'various' and 'different'. It gets to be confusing when they both seem to be good in certain sentential contexts.

need advice from various groups/different groups of people

from various levels/different levels of academic backgrounds

have choices to make from various fresh/different fresh fruit products

Do you have some tips?
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BelieverHi,

Can you help me to better use or correctly use the words 'various' and 'different'. It gets to be confusing when they both seem to be good in certain sentential contexts.

need advice from various groups/different groups of people

from various levels/different levels of academic backgrounds

have choices to make from various fresh/different fresh fruit products

Do you have some tips?

One difference may be that "various" tends to be used with plural nouns. "different" can be used with a singular noun, though.

a different way of doing this

but not

a various way of doing it

to make it short: "varius" means "many different".
BelieverHi,

Can you help me to better use or correctly use the words 'various' and 'different'. It gets to be confusing when they both seem to be good in certain sentential contexts.

need advice from various groups/different groups of people

from various levels/different levels of academic backgrounds

have choices to make from various fresh/different fresh fruit products

Do you have some tips?
I think that in these examples, "various" is the word you want, as you mean "several" levels or groups. "Different" would mean "something other than what we now have".
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Thank you, Philip and Anon.

Can I apply Philip's suggestion that said that 'Different' would mean 'something other than what we now have' to these as well?

We need to get good advice from people of various levels of expertise.

Many people from different schools/companies came to our opening ceremony.

In those two cases, I think you would normally see the sentences with the words as underlined and the option to substitute with the other word do not seem to exist.
Hi,

I was also unsure about the usage of these two words. However,
  • I use various when the sense is vague, it is not known or there is no need or intention to know how many are there, e.g. People from various countries attended the conferece...in this case use of 'different' would be wrong..countries are different. Also, in this context it is not important how many countries. Various suggests loose control over the subject.
  • I use different when we are talking about a set of distinct entities, whose count is known or should be known e.g. We provide different services to suit your needs...If I say 'We provide various services..' it feels like we are not sure ourselves how many services we are providing.

  • For your examples, I would suggest:
    1. Need advice from different groups ( if the sense is to gather advice from distinct known groups of people)
    2. from various levels of academic backgrounds (academic backgrounds can be so many...not possible to know how many levels and combinations are there.)
    3. have choices to make from various fresh fruit products (again, the embasis is we do care about the total number of products available..but we have to choose from 'many'.)
    Regards,

    Uttam Shukla
    India
correction in my previous post:

Please read the example 3 as follows:
  1. have choices to make from various fresh fruit products (again, the embasis is we do NOT care about the total number of products available..but we have to choose from 'many'.)
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various: used when showing multipliciciy/variety of choices
different: used when showing that the choices are not the same as something else

Lorenz argued first that aggression is widespread in many animal species and in various human societies.

What's meant by "various human societies"?

various usually indicates many or it refers to many while different is used while comparing two things.

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