This tag is for questions about the differences in the meaning of two words.

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4answers
618 views

What is the difference between “to thump” and “to punch”?

I would like to know what is the difference between to thump and to punch? For example: I punched him and knocked his teeth out. or I thumped him and knocked his teeth out.
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3answers
7k views

What is the difference between adjust and adapt?

I know the basic similarities between adjust and adapt, but I would like to know more about the differences between them. For example, which of the following sentences would be true? It took time ...
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2answers
3k views

“All right” vs. “alright” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it “alright” or “allright”? Which is correct in English, "all right" or "alright"? These expressions don't cause any problem in verbal ...
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2answers
3k views

Difference between “output” and “outcome”?

What is the difference between output and outcome? Please suggest the proper usage.
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2answers
2k views

How do I use “verily”?

Since verily means truly or certainly. Can I use it where I would normally use certainly? Like: I certainly think that is appropriate. I verily think that is appropriate. If yes, are there ...
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2answers
233 views

What's the difference between “shake up” and “shape up”?

What's the difference between these phrasal verbs? Would you say "organization shake up", "organization shape up", either depending on context and desired meaning or neither? How about "documentation" ...
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4answers
205 views

Can you use obverse/reverse when referring to a sheet of paper?

Is it acceptable to use 'obverse and reverse' when referring to the sides of a loose-leaf sheet of paper? The wikipedia article on, "Obverse and Reverse" stated that: "Obverse and its opposite, ...
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3answers
322 views

What's the difference between 'shatter' and 'splinter'?

What's the difference between shatter and splinter? Are they interchangeable? Their definitions from Cambridge dictionary are as follows: Shatter(V): to (cause something to) break ...
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1answer
974 views

What is the difference between “fair” and “festival”?

The words "fair" and "festival" seem almost identical to me, but they have separate Wikipedia entries (here and here) with similarly structured, yet different information. In terms of the meaning and ...
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4answers
215 views

“It can be safely deleted” vs. “It can safely be deleted”

Is there a subtle difference between the following two sentences? It can be safely deleted. It can safely be deleted. If they mean the same thing, is one preferred for other reasons?
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4answers
2k views

The insured vs. the assured

Consider the following statement (written in the context of marine cargo insurance): The insurers plead negligence on the part of the assured. The writer is British. Is the use of assured ...
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3answers
2k views

Difference between “boundary” and “limit” [closed]

Is there a difference between the semantics of the two words boundary and limit? Is it possible that only one of the two has an inclusive meaning regarding the set we want the limit/boundary of? ...
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4answers
4k views

Are 'effectually' and 'effectively' completely interchangable?

In the OED: effectively, (adverb)—in such a manner as to achieve a desired result: make sure that resources are used effectively. effectual, (adjective)—successful in producing ...
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3answers
2k views

Difference between “unlikeable” and “dislikeable”?

Is there a difference between unlikeable and dislikeable? It feels like there is, but I'm uncertain how to explain it.
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4answers
576 views

“Combination” versus “Amalgamation”

I'm looking for the key differences between combination and amalgamation. The differences between their verb forms (combine and amalgamate) is just as acceptable to me. Combination: the act or an ...
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3answers
322 views

Past Simple and Past Perfect Simple with 'already'

Do these two sentences have the same meaning? When we arrived, David had already got home and When we arrived, David was already home
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2answers
412 views

What is the difference between a question and an invitation?

What is the difference between a question and an invitation? Is there any difference? Do they accomplish different things? Are they structurally different?
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2answers
2k views

“Ashes” vs. “cinder”

I am a bit confused on where to use "ashes" and where "cinder". Do both of them have the same meaning?
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2answers
6k views

“We've” vs “We have” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Is it appropriate to use short form of “have” ('ve) when it means possession? Can you contract the main verb in a sentence? Is we've equivalent to we ...
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6answers
4k views

“least” vs. “lowest”

What is the difference between least and lowest? Websites announce as "Lowest prices", but not "least". Least is the superlative degree. low > lower > least ?
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1answer
114 views

what's the difference between “Indispensable Amino Acid” and “Essential Amino Acid”?

As I have seen several times of the using of those two words in even the same book. But I don't know what's the difference meaning between those two words.
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2answers
144 views

Is there any exception in the usage of since and for especially with reference to the inclusion of word last?

I have been working here for 5 years. or I have been working here since last 5 years. Does the word "last" have any effect on period of time, thereby changing the context to the point of ...
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1answer
3k views

“Can not” vs. “cannot” [duplicate]

Is there a difference in meaning and/or connotation between "can not" and "cannot"? I have read and seen both used interchangeably, but I know people who argue for a slight difference in meaning. ...
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2answers
1k views

“What does it mean?” vs. “What does that mean?” — what's the difference?

I tried to find an answer to this question. But no luck. Can somebody explain it to me? An American friend of mine said, "I've never heard about 'What does it mean?', I've always used 'What does that ...
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2answers
2k views

Difference between “have had” and “having”

What is the difference between the following two sentences? I have had a headache since this morning. I am having a headache since this morning.
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3answers
465 views

“Metering” vs “measuring”

I am now working on a technical concept of measuring of some data and I often see terms measuring and metering. My understanding is that with a meter I measure. But what is metering? And how does it ...
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5answers
10k views

Difference in meaning: “would have had to be” vs “would have had to have been”

Being a non native speaker, I cannot spot the difference here: He would have had to have been there. He would have had to be there. The only thing that comes to my mind is that in the first case, ...
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4answers
380 views

Difference between “delight” and “delightful” [closed]

I am wondering if there is really a difference between delight and delightful. I would like to make a title for a French cooking app and was thinking of this: MyApp - Homemade delightful French ...
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2answers
861 views

Medical or medicinal? [duplicate]

I am not an English native. I am working in the field of medicinal plants. I like to know why we don't use term "medical plants"? What is the difference between them?
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1answer
8k views

“Listen to music” vs. “listen to the music”

English is not my mother tongue. I once came across information that listening to music and listening to the music mean something different. Listening to the music would mean you put whole heart into ...
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1answer
5k views

What is the difference between “left/right side” and “left/right-hand side”?

This question arose in the context of referring to locations in a figure, e.g.: A dot is added to the left(-hand) side of the diagram. What is the difference in meaning (if there is one)? What ...
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2answers
442 views

Disdainful pity…?

My question stems from a conversation on sympathy and pity. My girlfriend and I agreed that sympathy is feeling for someone, but without taking action or desiring to take action. Pity, then, overlaps ...
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3answers
2k views

“Endorse” vs. “condone”

What is the difference in meaning/connotation between the two words? Is endorse "stronger", more positive? Also, endorse is to endorsement as condone is to what? Is there a noun counterpart?
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2answers
920 views

“Don't know what the name is” vs. “Don't know what it's called”

What is the difference between saying: A: Which meal do you want, Sir? B: Number 4. I don't know what the name is. A: Which meal do you want, Sir? B: Number 4. I don't know what it's ...
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1answer
676 views

What's the difference between “that will be $200” and “that would be $200”?

When you are negotiating prices with your customer, you might say "that's $200," "that'll be $200," or "that would be $200." Are there any differences among them?
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4answers
7k views

How do hyphens modify the meaning of “n-month-old”?

I see three different ways of hyphenating the phrase "six month old". Six-month old: A six-month old poses with a machine gun owned by supporters of the Free Syrian Army. Six-month-old: ...
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2answers
110 views

“On Mac OS X” vs. “in Mac OS X”

The NY Times uses both "on Mac OS X" and "in Mac OS X". Can someone explain which one seems more appropriate if there is no difference?
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2answers
385 views

“Compared with it”, is it correct?

Consider the following sentence: We consider a simple protocol as the base configuration and compare with it three other cases. Which one is more correct, "compare with it" or "compare it ...
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2answers
319 views

Is there any difference between these two sentences?

Is there any difference between these sentences apart from structure? The tiger is a ferocious animal. Tigers are ferocious animals.
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3answers
220 views

“When X is” or “When X will be”?

I always have a tough time with this. Suppose the following: The software will be installed when the computer is ready. versus The software will be installed when the computer will be ready. ...
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3answers
579 views

“indulger of” vs. “indulger in”

A person can indulge in something. Is he therefore an indulger of something or an indulger in something? Are both okay? If both are okay, is there any difference between these two phrases or are ...
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2answers
3k views

What are differences of meaning among device, gadget, gimmick and gizmo?

Further to today's my question about the words, 'off-the-shelf' used in Time Magazine's feature story titled 'The Best 50 Invention of The Year' (Nov. 11th 2010 Issue), I found the following sentence ...
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3answers
1k views

Difference in meaning and prononciation of urbane and urban

I encounter these two words pretty often, both orally and in writing. What is the difference between two, and how to pronounce, say in USA?
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1answer
841 views

How is “admire” used in “to admire them a great deal”?

I knew that admire can be used in phrases like "admire somebody" or "admire somebody for something", but recently I have found the following sentence in my Collins dictionary: If you emulate ...
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3answers
44 views

Is he “making a play” for her or is he “making a pass” at her?

to make a play for someone - to attempt to attract the romantic interest of someone. to make a pass at someone - to make a romantic advance at someone. To a non-native speaker, the ...
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1answer
75 views

What is the difference between Anglia and England?

What is the difference between Anglia and England? When it's used. Some examples of modern usages: probably coincident, but Anglia in Polish language is England, there are regions called East ...
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3answers
61 views

“Her water broke” or “Her waters broke”

Which is more correct: "Her water broke." or "Her waters broke." I've been searching online and I've found uses of both "water" and "waters" in various places, but none of them very authoritative. I ...
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2answers
2k views

Difference between nouns “strip” and “stripe”

Is there a specific difference between the nouns "strip" and "stripe", especially in the context of "a strip(e) of paper"? Are both equivalent or do they carry specific meanings?
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2answers
314 views

sensible, sensitive, and sentient

Despite the apparently same meanings of the three words (which I looked up in Wiktionary), I would like to know if my interpretation is correct regarding their differences. "sensible" is used to ...
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2answers
8k views

Morrow vs. Tomorrow [closed]

What's the difference between morrow and tomorrow? Why are there two similar words for the same meaning? I noticed it in the title of a song of Michael Nyman, "Second Morrow", on Gattaca OST. ...