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

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5
votes
7answers
16k views

What is the difference between “probably” and “possibly”? [closed]

Recently I saw the movie "Pursuit of Happyness", which is actually quite good, and I noticed the actor (Will Smith) asking the difference between probably and possibly to his son. So I would like to ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

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

What's the difference between "rock" and "stone"?
10
votes
5answers
16k views

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

Is there any difference here at all?
5
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the difference between “horrify” and “terrify”?

When would I use one, versus using the other?
8
votes
2answers
450 views

Yellow versus orange

I have observed several people over the years refer to something that is orange in color as "yellow". Is that some linguistic difference or a difference in perception?
19
votes
5answers
30k views

“Electronic” vs. “electric”

Most people would refer to computers as being electronic, whereas a flashlight would be described as electric. I know the general difference (electronic devices use transistors?), but what is it ...
27
votes
3answers
22k views

Is it “despite” or “despite of”?

Should I always use 'despite' instead of 'despite of'?
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between “onerous” and “arduous”?

Is there any difference in the meaning of these words? Which one of them is used the most in everyday conversation? In my vocabulary for both words I've found essentially the same meaning: "difficult ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Transform or transformation?

Is there a difference between the words transform (noun) and transformation? Let me describe my problem. I have a mathematical model which I can transform into a better model with help of a data ...
4
votes
5answers
7k views

What's the difference between Media and Press

What's the difference between Media and Press, I think that press for newspapers and media for TV, can anyone give us details about that?
51
votes
7answers
19k views

Which is the correct spelling: “grey” or “gray”?

What is the difference? Or is there any? Which would be more British English?
5
votes
1answer
20k views

What are the differences between “allegories”, “fables” and “parables”?

My concept of the three is: Allegory: A story in which ideas are symbolized as people. Parable: A short story designed to teach a moral or religious lesson. Fable: A short story in which animals or ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

What's the difference between “hence” and “thus”?

Can anyone explain the difference between hence and thus and when should we use one and not the other?
21
votes
3answers
5k views

When should you write “answer” versus “response”?

In context, when would it be appropriate to use "answer" or "response"? I always tend to use "answer" personally, but I have always this nagging feeling I could be wrong.
14
votes
5answers
19k views

Difference between “should” and “ought to”

What is the difference between You should go and You ought to go? I rarely use the latter.
8
votes
4answers
3k views

“Just” versus “simply”

To which extent is just interchangeable with simply, as in the example? It's becoming more than just annoying. It's becoming more than simply annoying. Is just synonym of simply in just any ...
9
votes
3answers
48k views

“Give up” versus “give in”

Do give up and give in imply different meanings?
3
votes
3answers
12k views

“It could/might/may be funny” — what is the correct usage?

What is the difference in meaning in these three sentences? it might be funny it could be funny it may be funny The answer was partially touched on in this post.
6
votes
6answers
14k views

What is the difference between “to oblige” and “to obligate”?

What's the difference between oblige and obligate? Speculating, is the latter an Americanism of the British former? Or is there any distinction about what/who has caused someone to be oblig(at)ed to ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a real difference between wait and await?

In the context of the discussion in this blog post and comments on using await as a keyword for a potentially asynchronous operation in C#5, I wondered if there is any real difference between await ...
26
votes
5answers
30k views

Is there a difference between “arse” and “ass”?

From a comment here, in frequent usage, arse and ass are often interchangeable when used to refer to buttocks or to a person of dubious charms. However, although “to arse about” has a vague connection ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

Should I say 'What I wanted to say is' or 'What I wanted to say was'?

Following Martha's advice I am splitting up a question Compound sentences, the punctuation and mooore. Let's put what I said / wrote something in the past. And now I want to elaborate some key points ...
29
votes
4answers
2k views

When should “farther” and “further” be used?

I know I learned the difference between the usage of farther and further in school, but I can never remember where each one should be used. Can someone help me out here?
7
votes
4answers
31k views

Difference between “I've added” and “I added”

Could anybody describe me difference between I've added and I added?
9
votes
3answers
9k views

Rule for using “for” vs. “to”

A Brazilian friend speaks English very well, but has a very unique habit: it seems often that she needs to use "for" but she instead uses "to", and vice-versa. For instance: The present is to ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “raise” and “rise”?

What is the difference between raise and rise? When and how should I use each one?
3
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the difference between “scent” and “odor”?

Proper usage guidelines and examples are appreciated.
14
votes
3answers
79k views

Difference between an acronym and abbreviation?

TLA is an acronym for "Three Letter Acronym". Is it also an abbreviation, since it abbreviates the original phrase?
11
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
13k views

Is there any difference between 'often' and 'frequently'?

Do both mean exactly the same or do they have slightly different meanings?
5
votes
2answers
6k views

What's the practical difference between “allot” and “allocate”?

I've noticed allot is usually used as an adjective (as in, "your allotted amount"), and allocate is more often used as a verb (as in, "I will allocate some resources"). Any other notable differences?
9
votes
4answers
7k views

What are: province, territory, protectorate, state…?

Often a country will have regions called "provinces" or "states". Other times they are called "territories" and "protectorates". Is there a generic term for these words? Is there a full list of ...
26
votes
3answers
87k views

What's the difference between using single and double quotation marks/inverted commas?

I'm quite unsure regarding the usage of single quotation marks (') and double quotation marks (") in English. I had thought that double quotation marks were usually used to quote sentences from ...
45
votes
2answers
188k views

“Which” vs. “what” — what's the difference and when should you use one or the other?

Most of the time one or the other feels better, but every so often, "which" vs. "what" trips me up. So, what's the exact difference and when should you use one or the other?
3
votes
2answers
877 views

Is a “choice” the result of choosing or something to choose from?

If I have to choose between three things, do I have three choices? I have always thought of a "choice" as being either the act of choosing or the result of said choosing, but not one of the options ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

“give me an offer” vs “make me an offer”

Which is correct: "give me an offer" vs. "make me an offer"? Is there some difference in meaning?
0
votes
0answers
362 views

How Would One Use A Semicolon (;)? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does one correctly use a semicolon? I'm wondering about the difference between just ending the sentence and starting a new one based on the same subject and using a ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

“Backward” versus “backwards” — is there any difference?

The dictionaries I've looked in don't distinguish between these two words, backward and backwards (at least when used as adverbs). Is there some real historical, grammatical or regional difference ...
11
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
10k views

'Clean' vs 'Clear'

What is their difference? Please provide an example (or two if the use as verb or adjective differentiates their meanings).
17
votes
5answers
12k views

What is the distinction between “among” and “amongst”?

It seems amongst is quite often used as a synonym for among but it is supposed to sound more distinguished. Is there any difference in the meaning?
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Logging in or on?

There are a plethora of words for user accounts, like logon, login, signon, and also the action of logging in (or logging on) or signing in. Are there any usage guidelines here?
2
votes
6answers
1k views

Is “facebook” as a verb different from “google” or “photoshop”?

I understand that any term, grammatical or not, becomes valid if there is common usage. I'm not concerned about that. Google and Photoshop are both commonly used as verbs. Given that the terms map ...
3
votes
5answers
5k views

What's the difference between “regime” and “regimen”

The title says it all, really.
3
votes
3answers
1k views

“There do not appear to be any comments to delete.”

In a CMS I am using, when a user with the right permission tries to delete a comment that is not found, the CMS outputs the following warning message: There do not appear to be any comments to ...
3
votes
4answers
9k views

“To call” vs. “to ring”

What is the difference between the verbs "call" and "ring" in the meaning of telephoning? For example: I will ring you back shortly. I will call you back shortly.
16
votes
3answers
9k views

What is the difference between “proven” and “proved”?

My question concerns when to use which of the above.
26
votes
12answers
7k views

Do the words “jail” and “prison” refer to different things?

In everyday speech, the terms jail and prison are used interchangeably in many situations. However, my understanding is that, at least in the US, they actually refer to slightly different things. For ...
30
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are clothes “hung” but men “hanged”?

It is said that clothes can be hung but men are hanged. Is this correct, and if so, why?