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

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10
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6answers
5k views

Difference between 'decline' and 'decrease'

I have an advanced English student who is stuck on the word 'decline'. I told him 'decline' and 'decrease' are very similar, but are not always interchangeable. It is a business English course and we ...
10
votes
6answers
8k views

What's the difference between “cup” and “glass”?

Are "cup" and "glass" the same in English? Can I call a "glass" a cup made of plastic?
10
votes
10answers
18k views

“Integrity” vs. “honesty”—what's the difference?

In what situations would you say that someone "has integrity" as opposed to "behaves with honesty"? For instance, if an employee is meticulous about reporting his hours, does he have integrity or is ...
10
votes
5answers
8k views

When would you say “woods”, and when would you say “forest”?

Is there any difference here at all?
10
votes
4answers
612 views

Ambiguous connotation of “just” - How do natives interpret these?

First of all, these questions are a bit related but not what I'm actually asking about: Is “I just spent all my money” grammatically incorrect? “I just ate them” and “I've just eaten them” - What's ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the difference between “rock” and “stone”?

What's the difference between "rock" and "stone"?
10
votes
4answers
4k 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?
10
votes
5answers
9k views

What's the difference between “these” and “those”?

First of all, I'm not a native English speaker, but in school I learned that these is used if referring to something near, and those is used when referring to something far away (temporally or ...
10
votes
5answers
872 views

“Faster, not sooner”

Over the weekend, I watched a talking head on TV saying the following sentence. An economic recovery will come faster, not sooner. I can't make proper sense of this as both are synonymous to me. ...
10
votes
2answers
23k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
15k views

Is there a difference between “holiday” and “vacation”?

What is the difference, if any, between these two words?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Hex, curse, spell, jinx, charm

I'm listening to some Harry Potter audio books, and there are so many words describing the work of the spell. One can be cursed, charmed, hexed or jinxed. What's the difference?
10
votes
3answers
5k views

“Postpone”, “delay” and “defer”

I'm Russian and in the Russian language we use one word if we want to say that something will happen later than it has been planned. So usually I have difficulty in choosing a proper word among ...
10
votes
4answers
8k 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?
10
votes
4answers
17k views

“I like to do (be) something” vs “I like doing (being) something”

This is what I read in an answer to a previous question: Verbs Followed by Either Gerund or Infinitive Sometimes the meaning changes according to the verb used. <…> (dis)like ...
10
votes
3answers
15k views

Difference between phrase, idiom and expression [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between an expression and a phrase? Difference between “phrase” and “idiom” What is the difference between a phrase, an ...
10
votes
5answers
23k views

What's the difference between “client” and “customer”?

I already asked a similar question (customer vs. client vs. user vs. consumer of on-line service) but, I believe, there may be some differences between technical and legal jargon and general usage of ...
10
votes
3answers
147 views

Mike brought cake VS mike brought cake with him

What's the difference between these two expressions: Mike brought his guitar. Mike brought his guitar with him. How does "with him" change the meaning of the sentence?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Are “nil” and “null” interchangeable?

Are nil and null interchangeable? For example, My bank a/c has a nil balance. My bank a/c has a null balance.
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference in meaning between “on his job” and “in his job”

What does this sentence mean? He is working fifty percent more on his job and fifty percent less in his job. He is 100% happier.
10
votes
7answers
7k views

What's the difference between “big” and “large”?

What's the proper way to say: a large family or a big family? What's the difference between them?
10
votes
4answers
41k views

Bachelor thesis or Bachelor's thesis

During my final year at university, I wrote what I thought was a "bachelor thesis". Right before printing it I stumbled upon several documents stating the name "bachelor's thesis". (Here we do not ...
10
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

“Compared with” vs “Compared to”—which is used when?

Is only one of them correct? Are they used in different situations? Or are they interchangeable?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference between 'later' and 'later on'

Is there any difference between the usage of 'later' and 'later on'? I'll see you later. I'll finish it later on.
10
votes
4answers
2k views

“Paradise” vs. “heaven”

What is the difference in use between "paradise" and "heaven"? I feel that heaven is more spiritual, something that probably couldn't even be imagined. When you say paradise, you can denote something ...
10
votes
8answers
34k views

Difference between “OK” and “okay”

While typing a post on SO, I noticed that the word "ok" (when used in the sentence "I'm still learning so it is ok") was marked as misspelled (got to love spellcheck!) The first suggestion, however, ...
10
votes
3answers
18k views

Difference between “are you done” and “have you done.”

I was just wondering, how can we differentiate "are you done?" and "have you done?", and what is the appropriate way to use each?
9
votes
16answers
6k views

Difference between “game” and “sport”

Can any one tell me for meaning about the difference between game and sport in the broadest context possible? I mean, Magic: The Gathering tournament play is still a game, while hunting is ...
9
votes
3answers
606 views

“I park my car in the yard”

What is the origin of the different pronunciation of words like park, yard, cartoon, margarine in American and British English? In other words, why doesn’t British English generally pronounce the r ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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?
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Difference between “garbage” and “trash”?

What's the difference between garbage and trash? Is the difference significant?
9
votes
2answers
773 views

Any differences between “slander” and “libel”?

Are there any differences between slander and libel?
9
votes
2answers
11k views

What's the difference between 'cutlery', 'silverware' and 'crockery'?

What's the difference between 'cutlery', 'silverware' and 'crockery'? Are there any differences between them?
9
votes
3answers
34k views

What is the difference between “accumulative” and “cumulative”?

I'm having a hard time understanding the real distinction between accumulative and cumulative. accumulative adjective tending to accumulate or arising from accumulation; cumulative. ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a difference between “eatable” and “edible”?

I thought only edible was correct, even Google suggested edible when I did a search to see which one was more popular on the internet: Edible: 17.2 million Eatable: 2.2 million The first results ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is “a couple of <things>” often shortened to “a couple <things>”?

I would write a couple of . I often read/hear a couple . I assumed this was an American English thing (I'm British), and just a convenient shortening of the phrase for speaking. It's easier to say a ...
9
votes
4answers
41k views

What are “coherence” and “cohesion” in text linguistics?

I am still learning English. My English language professor has given me an assignment on coherence and cohesion. But it seems difficult to me. I've consulted my friend and he told me: Cohesion and ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the difference between “hallow”, “sacred”, “holy” and “saint”? [closed]

Hallow, sacred, holy and saint seem to resemble each other but are not identical. So what's the difference between them? I have searched http://dictionary.babylon.com and spotted: Hallow: ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the difference between “blond” and “blonde”?

I hear all the time that one word is for males and the other is for females but I'm skeptical...
9
votes
4answers
617 views

Clarion call vs rallying cry

I'm studying for the GRE, and there was this one question (sentence completion) where I had to choose between selecting "clarion call" or "rallying cry" as the answer. What is the distinction between ...
9
votes
3answers
19k views

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

What is the difference between metaphorical, allegorical, and figurative?
9
votes
7answers
1k views

Simple sentences that demonstrate differences among similar-looking words [closed]

While searching online for the difference between "sometime" and "some time", I stumbled upon this page. At the middle of the page you can see these two sentences that demonstrate the difference: ...
9
votes
2answers
11k views

What's the difference between “e.g.” and “ex.”?

I know they both roughly mean "example", but which one should I use, and when?
9
votes
4answers
6k views

“Use” vs. “usage”

When should one use usage instead of use? Examples?
9
votes
4answers
132k views

Difference between “Warm regards” and “Best regards”

Is there any difference between Warm regards and Best regards?
9
votes
1answer
4k views

“Broadcast” or “broadcasted”

I'm not a native English speaker, so sorry if this is a very basic question. Is broadcast a verb? If it is, what is the simple past and past participle: broadcasted?
9
votes
2answers
6k views

What's the difference between 'resolve' and 'solve'?

What's the difference between 'resolve' and 'solve'?
9
votes
1answer
23k views

What is the difference between “in-between” and “between”?

Do in-between and between have different meanings? What is the difference between in-between and between?
9
votes
3answers
8k views

Difference between “packet”, “parcel” and “package”

The definition on OALD is identical for parcel and packet. parcel (especially British English) (North American English usually package) something that is wrapped in paper or put into a thick ...