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

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6
votes
4answers
30k 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
4k views

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

Proper usage guidelines and examples are appreciated.
14
votes
3answers
76k 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
12k 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
83k 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 ...
42
votes
2answers
179k 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
861 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
9k 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
8k 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?
11
votes
4answers
5k 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?
2
votes
6answers
1k views

Is the line blurring between “accent” and “dialect”?

The definition that I have had in my head for most of my life is: dialect: a variation of the original language (usually regional), sometimes even using different vocabulary and grammar ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What can I use to remember the difference between “well” and “good”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between “good” and “well” Okay, I actually have no idea when it's okay to say well or good but once again I vaguely ...
11
votes
3answers
14k 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?
3
votes
6answers
7k views

“Important” and “significant”

"Important" and "significant" seems to be very close in meaning when denoting that something matters much. But am I right in thinking that "important" is less formal word than "significant"? And ...
5
votes
6answers
5k views

What is the difference between “’ll” and “will”?

Is there any difference in the meaning when we use 'll or will? For example, I will go to university tomorrow. I'll go to university tomorrow.
30
votes
2answers
24k views

When I should use “assure” vs. “ensure” vs. “insure”?

When is it appropriate to use assure vs. ensure vs. insure?
8
votes
2answers
5k views

“Also” and “as well” for conversational context

"Also" and "as well" seem to be quite similar in meaning, but I'd like to know shades in its meaning and usage, especially for everyday conversational language. What one will sound more natural and ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Introductory phrases like “to tell the truth”

What is the difference between the following introductory phrases? To tell the truth Frankly speaking To be honest Are any of the phrases more old-fashioned or formal than the others ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

“Certainly” and “Of course”: what is the difference?

Is there any difference in expressing consent and assurance using adverbs "certainly" or "of course"? What would be more appropriate one in everyday conversation?
49
votes
3answers
3k views

“Toward” or “towards”?

Which one should should I use? For some reason I have always used "towards", but I see some people saying "toward", like here: A great deal of his work in economic theory has been directed ...
11
votes
3answers
10k views

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

What is the difference between color and colour?
14
votes
7answers
45k views

What is the difference between “as per” and “according to”?

See the following two sentences. As per my knowledge it is right. According to my knowledge it is right. Are both the sentences right? What is the difference and use of "as per" and ...
21
votes
4answers
26k views

Difference between “ability” and “capability”

What is the difference in usage between ability and capability?
23
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the difference between “lay” and “lie”?

How do I know when to use lay and when to use lie, and what are the different forms of each verb? I'm always getting them confused.
27
votes
3answers
39k views

What's the difference between a gerund and a participle?

What is the difference between a gerund and a participle?
10
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the semantic difference between “encipher” and “encrypt”?

What is the semantic difference between encipher and encrypt?