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

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14
votes
3answers
21k views

What is the difference between “none of …” and “neither of”? [closed]

What's the difference between the following examples: Neither of my teachers are mathematicians. None of my teachers are mathematicians.
14
votes
3answers
187k views

“Agree on” vs. “agree with” vs. “agree to”

What are the differences between "agree on", "agree with" and "agree to"?
14
votes
4answers
20k views

Readable vs legible

Could you explain what is a difference between readable vs legible? Which should I use when I want to say "This diagram is easily readable/legible" while meaning - "It is very easy to read and ...
14
votes
2answers
58k views

“Covered with” vs. “covered in” vs. “covered by”

I want to find out the differences in meaning among covered by, covered in, and covered with. For example, what is the difference between: covered with blood covered in blood or the ...
14
votes
7answers
21k views

What's the difference between a vicar and a pastor?

What's the difference between a vicar, preferably of the Church of England, and a pastor? I browsed Wikipedia, but most of the gist of the article is that vicar is an ecclesiastical office, and ...
14
votes
4answers
19k views

Which is correct: “home in” or “hone in”?

I've heard people say "Home in on something", but I've also heard others say "Hone in on something". Which is the correct expression, and what is the etymology of these?
14
votes
2answers
24k views

What is the difference between born and borne?

What is the difference between born and borne. Can anyone cite any solid examples?
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Envision vs Envisage

Is there a context where envision is not a synonym of envisage, or vice versa? Envisage's definition: contemplate or conceive of as a possibility or a desirable future event Envision's ...
14
votes
5answers
46k views

What's the difference between a picture and an image?

What's the difference between a picture and an image? I think this is the missing question as these have already been asked: Picture/Photo Image/Glyph Photo/Image
13
votes
11answers
2k views

Cases where “mistake” and “error” are not interchangeable

Are there cases where error and mistake are not interchangeable?
13
votes
9answers
30k views

What's the difference between “bucket” and “pail”?

What is the difference between bucket and pail? Is there a distinction between the shape of a bucket and the shape of a pail? Are buckets and pails made of different materials? Is there a difference ...
13
votes
4answers
45k views

What's the difference between “yet another” and “another”?

What's the difference between yet another and another?
13
votes
12answers
126k views

Difference between “slacks”, “pants”, and “trousers”?

I wonder what differences are between usage of slacks, pants, and trousers? Their meanings seem the same by looking up Google’s Internet dictionary and Wikipedia.
13
votes
4answers
47k views

“Plausible” vs. “possible”

I am looking to find the difference between possible and plausible. Here is what Apple's dictionary gives for each word: Possible: Able to be done; within the power or capacity of someone or ...
13
votes
7answers
20k views

What's the difference between 'just' and 'fair'?

What's the difference between 'just' and 'fair'? OED gives slightly different definitions, but they are not distinct enough as to be clear (to me). Is the difference simply idiomatic, or is there a ...
13
votes
5answers
16k views

“Baggage” versus “luggage”

I have the feeling that luggage is more closely associated with vacation travel, whereas baggage is for general transportation. Or... are they just exact synonyms?
13
votes
4answers
30k views

What's the difference between the words “plate” and “dish”?

I'm confused about the words dish and plate. Could someone please explain the difference?
13
votes
5answers
14k views

'Clean' vs 'Clear'

What is their difference? Please provide an example (or two if the use as verb or adjective differentiates their meanings).
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Usage of “many” vs “many a”?

Can someone please elucidate the difference between "many" and "many a"? In what context of usage should we add an extra "a" beside the word "many"? For example: Many times, I had seen that . ...
13
votes
5answers
95k views

What is the difference between 'can', 'could', 'may' and 'might'?

I'm a native English speaker and I've been doing some research into English grammar for a programme I'm working on. However, on looking into modal verbs, I've only just come to appreciate how subtle ...
13
votes
10answers
23k views

Difference between “question” and “query”

What is the difference between a question and a query? It seems that in certain circumstances, the words are interchangeable: I have one further question. I have one further query. But, ...
13
votes
6answers
5k views

In the context of cooking, what is the difference between “flipper” and “spatula”?

I'm genuinely confused about this because at first I thought a spatula was a cooking tool resembling a flat pallet attached at an angle to the handle that could be used for activities such as flipping ...
13
votes
5answers
21k views

“Postfix” or “suffix”?

Wikipedia and The Free Dictionary were not much help — is there a practical difference in the semantics of suffix and postfix, except that the latter is more rare? File name extensions are well ...
13
votes
3answers
21k views

Difference between “sorcerer” and “wizard”

What is the difference between sorcerer and wizard? I know that the nomenclature is unclear. However, the common usage seems to indicate: a wizard is born an ordinary mortal, learns magic and ...
13
votes
3answers
47k views

What is the difference between “metaphorical”, “allegorical”, and “figurative”?

What is the difference between metaphorical, allegorical, and figurative?
13
votes
3answers
43k views

What is the difference between metonymy and synecdoche?

What is the difference between metonymy and synecdoche?
13
votes
1answer
78k views

When to use “cannot” versus “can't”?

When is it best to write "can't" versus writing "cannot"? Are they interchangeable in every situation?
13
votes
4answers
64k views

Semantic difference between “engine” and “motor” [closed]

Is there a semantic difference between engine and motor? In some cases, would the use of one or the other word be technically incorrect?
13
votes
3answers
4k views

“whether” vs. “if ” [duplicate]

How can I know when should I use whether or if in a sentence? I can not see any difference between whether and if. When should I use each? For me, they are the same and I am not sure if there is a ...
13
votes
5answers
77k views

What is the difference between “speaking” and “talking”?

It seems more politically correct to say that someone is speaking rather than talking. What is the definitive difference between these terms?
13
votes
1answer
7k views

What is the difference in usage between “lethal” and “fatal”?

This cropped up when I was in a conversation with a friend. I guess fatal must talk of something which has necessarily resulted in death, while lethality is more about potential to cause death. Yet I ...
13
votes
3answers
35k views

What is the difference between “clothes” and “clothing”?

Do some google I find that clothes work like objects like: You should pack your clothes. → Yes You should pack your clothing. → No Can you tell me the main difference between clothing ...
13
votes
8answers
44k views

“Experienced” vs. “seasoned”

Are these two words interchangeable? According to the Oxford dictionary, experienced means having knowledge or skill in a particular job or activity, while seasoned having a lot of experience in a ...
13
votes
7answers
20k views

Difference between “canteen” and “cafeteria”

Are there any differences between canteen and cafeteria? In India, usually an eating place attached to an office, factory or school is called a canteen. Of course, in some new offices it is called ...
13
votes
4answers
16k views

What determines whether a sporting event is a game, match, contest, or something else?

There are many sports and other events that are contested, but why are some contests called matches, like tennis match, golf match, and soccer match, and some contests called a game, like baseball ...
13
votes
2answers
65k views

Surname, family name and last name

What is the difference between the three terms: surname, family name and last name? Do they mean the same? Or are there any particular contexts wherein one is more appropriate than the other?
13
votes
4answers
12k views

What is the distinction between “role” and “rôle” [with a circumflex]?

One of our users, Stan Rogers, mentioned there was such a distinction, I think, when he answered a question and talked about how the orthography of foreign loan-words typically changes to conform with ...
13
votes
5answers
42k views

Is there a semantic difference between “pedophile” and “pederast”?

If I understand the etymology of pedophile and pederast, both mean child lover. Is there a difference in their connotation? In some recent local news stories that discuss changing sex offender laws, ...
13
votes
2answers
852 views

Is “so” more feminine than “very”?

Many Japanese textbooks of English mention the "feminine 'so'": the use of "so" for "very" is more typical of a feminine speaker. I don't think this is true in the US (I learned English living in ...
13
votes
3answers
10k views

Difference in usage of “regular”, “usual”, “ordinary”, “normal”, “common”

Sometimes it is obvious which of the following words to use, sometimes not: regular usual ordinary normal common For example: "regular coffee" (not usual, normal or ordinary) , "ordinary people" ...
13
votes
2answers
216 views

Much and many: the opposite of less - fewer debate?

This morning, I corrected my little son on his use of much. I don't have much Star Wars guys. He seems to use this word quite frequently in place of many, although he doesn't often use many in ...
12
votes
10answers
407k views

What is the difference between “curd” and “yogurt”?

Most people use the words curd and yogurt interchangeably. Both are made by fermenting milk. Is there a difference between the two, or are they the same?
12
votes
3answers
15k views

Is there any difference between “color” and “colour”?

What is the difference between color and colour?
12
votes
5answers
9k views

Difference between “garbage” and “trash”?

What's the difference between garbage and trash? Is the difference significant?
12
votes
3answers
22k views

“I am on it” vs. “I am at it”

What are the differences between I am on it and I am at it? What does the latter mean? I found the definition of the former on Urban Dictionary and understand that it means I'm going to solve it ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

Can “crepuscular” and/or “twilight” apply to morning half-light as well as in the evening

I know that's "sorta" two questions in one, but I'm stuck in an argument with a guy who says both words can apply to morning half-light. I disagree and think both only apply in the evening. I think ...
12
votes
4answers
71k views

Difference between “smart” and “clever”

What is the difference between smart and clever? As far as I understand the latter is offensive. But the Cambrige Dictionary gives similar definitions of smart and clever.
12
votes
4answers
8k views

Difference between “due to” and “thanks to”

When should "due to" be preferred over "thanks to", and vice versa? When can they be used interchangeably?
12
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I distinguish “can” & “can't” from pronunciation?

It's very difficult for me to separate them. I was just listening to some video and it said "Fat cells can’t reproduce themselves." What I thought I've heard is "... CAN reproduce ..." Frankly, ...
12
votes
4answers
69k views

“Percent” vs. “percentile”

Just because .01% of people may be at risk of frying themselves on the third rail doesn't mean they need to modify the system for that miniscule percentile. It just means you need to let Darwinism ...