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

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3
votes
4answers
12k views

“Fermentor” vs. “fermenter”

I am curious to know the correct usage of these words as it seems to be misused often. See http://meta.homebrew.stackexchange.com/q/202/59 for a related question.
5
votes
4answers
14k views

“Me being” versus “my being” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Gerund preceded by possessive pronoun (e.g. “He resents your being more popular than he is”) Until a few months ago, I had always thought that sentences like ...
2
votes
3answers
828 views

What is the difference between a catch and a handle?

What is the difference between a catch and a handle? Ain't they the same thing? But here it said they got no handle but a catch: It was very dark and dusty and draughty and they stepped from ...
9
votes
8answers
56k views

Difference between “little” and “small”

Is there a difference between them? If so, how and when are they used? For example: I fixed a little/small typo.
9
votes
7answers
2k 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: ...
14
votes
5answers
73k views

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

What is the difference, if any, between these two words?
10
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
279 views

Etymology of close |kləʊz| (klōz) & close |kləʊs| (klōs)

In doing research for the question Is it “close-minded” or “closed-minded”?, which was in turn prompted by the discussion under this answer to another question, I realized that some of the confusion ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the difference between “buy up” “buy down” “buy” and “purchase”

What's the different between: Buy up buy down purchase buy When they're all supposed to mean "to pay money"?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Differences between “sleeper” and “dark horse”

I was wondering what the differences are between sleeper and dark horse. Are they interchangeable while having similar meanings? Are there other similar words?
3
votes
6answers
7k views

“Headed in the right direction” or “heading in the right direction”?

I've heard people using both expressions. Which one is correct, or are they basically the same?
26
votes
5answers
2k views

Are 'accuracy' and 'precision' interchangeable nouns?

The dictionary for accuracy says: The quality or state of being correct or precise. The ability to perform a task with precision. And for precision: The quality, condition, or ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

“Pretension” vs. “pretentiousness”

Is there a difference between pretension and pretentiousness? Merriam-Webster gives the latter as one possible definition of the former. Is one more recent than the other? Is there any reason to use ...
19
votes
5answers
18k views

Apostrophe-“s” vs “of ”

I gave a quick answer to part of this question which had not been covered by previous answers, trying to clarify the reason you would say time of decoding but not decoding’s time. I said it was ’s ...
9
votes
4answers
27k views

When should we use “and” and/or “and/or”?

What's the difference between "and" and "and/or"? How do we decide whether to use one or the other? Note: Also it would be great if someone could explain how do we actually pronounce "and/or" ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

“Contemporary” vs. “contemporaneous”

What is the difference between these two words? contemporary: From the same time period, coexistent in time. contemporaneous: Existing or created in the same period of time. I know that ...
2
votes
5answers
12k views

What is the difference between “can't” and “mustn't” in the expressing of prohibition?

You [verb] use your mobile phone while you're driving. It's against the law. What verb should be used? don't have to needn't mustn't can't Is can't correct, or only mustn't is correct? What ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Differences between “vulgar” and “coarse”, “crass”, “crude”, “rough”, “rude”, “unrefined” as applied to language

This question specifically covers how these terms are used to describe language, it is a followup to What's the difference between "informal", "colloquial", "slang", ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

The phrase, “It's on tonight.”

Is the sentence, "It's on tonight," grammatically correct? What about "It's on for tonight?" Are they both correct? Is there any difference at all?
1
vote
3answers
241 views

What is the difference between “Height” and “Summit”؟

What is the difference between "Height" and "Summit"?
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “what do you think” and “how about”?

These two sentences seem to be the same to me. Is there any difference between them, and are there circumstances in which I can only use one of them instead of the other?
21
votes
4answers
43k views

What's the difference between “informal”, “colloquial”, “slang”, and “vulgar”?

It seems many people get confused about the differences (and similarities) between "colloquial" and "slang", so what exactly does each term apply to? But to be even more thorough it seems to me we ...
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
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?
4
votes
1answer
7k views

“Place” or “venue”?

Do place and venue have the same meaning? If not what are the differences and when do we use which?
61
votes
10answers
7k views

What's the difference between the adjectives “strategic” and “tactical”?

I recently read this sentence: It was a strategic move rather than a tactical one. I have trouble interpreting it. Can someone help?
9
votes
3answers
6k views

“Shopping basket” or “shopping cart”

We need to label our shopping basket/cart on our Hotel & Tour Booking website. People can add products (rooms or tours) to their basket, and reserve after reviewing. What should this be called: a ...
84
votes
1answer
318k views

What's the difference between “requester” and “requestor”?

Both are in dictionaries. I've heard people insist "requester" is correct for a person who requests something, and that "requestor" is wrong there, leaving me to wonder how it is used. Requestor ...
6
votes
5answers
383 views

About using singular as food

Consider the following : He likes dogs. He likes dog. (1) would mean he likes dogs as pets and (2) refers to dog as food. My question is, does the same apply to nouns such as orange and ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the difference between “information”, “data”, “knowledge”, “science”? [closed]

I know it may be dumb but what is the difference between the following words? information data knowledge science Especially the difference between data and information? I know it but cannot ...
1
vote
2answers
443 views

The use of “for” and “of”

Are for and of interchangeable in these circumstances? Is the meaning affected at all? He was the Minister for Education. He was the Minister of Education. The Institute of Medical ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

“Repetitive” vs. “repetitious”

I have heard both repetitive and repetitious used in everyday speech to describe something that repeats, and I'm wondering what the real difference between the words is. Does one have a different ...
7
votes
1answer
431 views

Picked, perked or pricked up?

I hear and read these three words used in the same context in English, but is one of them more correct than the others? "The witch's cat picked up his ears" "Last year, when Mahmout heard that EGA ...
2
votes
3answers
13k views

What is the difference, if any, between 'art', 'the arts', and 'Art'?

In answer to this question, there was some discussion about whether these two sentences are equivalent: Art nurtures the soul. The arts nurture the soul. Are they equivalent? 'The arts' is ...
17
votes
5answers
61k views

What's the difference between “Collaborate” and “Cooperate”?

Both of these words seem to mean much the same thing: working together to achieve some goal. I can instinctively feel a difference between them, but I can't easily put it into words. Can you help me? ...
1
vote
2answers
404 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.
4
votes
5answers
16k views

“Referee” vs. “umpire” vs. “judge”

What is the difference between referee, umpire and judge? How about the use of other similar words? In sports like tennis, basketball, football and soccer, when do we use which?
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Is an “informed guess” the same as an “educated guess”?

Do these phrases convey the same meaning? Is an informed guess by definition, also, an educated guess?
12
votes
3answers
47k views

What's the difference between “cardinal” and “ordinal” as adjectives?

What's the difference between describing a number or place as cardinal versus ordinal? They both seem to have to do with the order of things. For example, when saying "He is the first in his class", ...
3
votes
6answers
7k views

What is the difference between “attribute” and “property”? [closed]

Could you please clear up the meaning of these two words for me? I don't understand this sentence: Attributes introduced by RDFA have names. For example, property is one such attribute.
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Words: paucity vs scarcity vs dearth

I see these words use interchangeably in various contexts. Is there a formal difference or preference? Please supply relevant examples.
8
votes
12answers
36k views

What's the difference between “good on you” vs. “good for you”, with a sincere meaning something like “you've done a good thing”?

In the northeastern USA I usually hear "good for you," as in You passed the test? Good for you! [congrats] Good for you, for stopping to help! [you are a good person] Online I often see the ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

To 'confirm' or to 'affirm' a finding, anecdotally?

I just saw this come across my Twitter feed: RT @hackernewsbot: Your Commute Is Killing You... http://www.slate.com/id/2295603/pagenum/all/ My two + hours every day confirm this... That ...
3
votes
3answers
40k views

“To which extent?” vs. “To what extent?”

Is there a difference in meaning between "to which extent" and "to what extent"? Are they used in different geographical areas?
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 ...
15
votes
8answers
110k views

What's the difference between a jumper, a pullover, and a sweater?

Following on from a recent question, in Australia we have the word jumper for a knitted long-sleeved garment, typically woollen and long-sleeved. When cosuming foreign media I always assumed the ...
9
votes
6answers
73k views

Difference between a sweater and a sweatshirt

Many clothing websites use distinct categories for both sweaters and sweatshirts. But what is the difference?
0
votes
1answer
1k views

“Data source types” vs. “types of data sources”

Is there any difference in meaning between "Many different data source types" and "Many different types of data sources"? I have no strong understanding on the use of "of".
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Spelling protocol (American/British/Canadian) for an International conference

If I'm a Canadian who'll be presenting in an international conference, should I use my country's spelling, which is the Canadian/British spelling like "grey" or the more used American spelling like ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the difference between “any way” and “any which way”?

Why should I use "any which way" (like in "any which way you can") instead of simply "any way"? I've been studying English as a foreign language for some time, and never came across this particular ...