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

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2
votes
2answers
10k views

“Nervous” vs. “anxious”

Are these words interchangeable? When would you use one over the other? For example, is it correct to say you "feel nervous" or "feel anxious"? Is it correct to say you are an "anxious person" or a ...
2
votes
4answers
446 views

Conjunction Puzzle: Is this clause dependent or independent?

Third grade teacher here. I plan to teach students to distinguish between simple, compound and complex sentences — but only if I can demonstrate a clear and meaningful difference between the latter ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

“To be elected chairman” vs. “to be elected the chairman”

I have a question regarding the correct use of the definite article "the": One of my books says: Definite article the is used before nouns denoting a position that can be held by one person ...
2
votes
2answers
4k 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", ...
2
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Pending” vs “Impending”. Are they synonyms?

They appear to me to mean almost if not exactly the same thing, but I am not sure. Are there differences in meaning between them?
1
vote
5answers
15k views

Difference in meaning: “would have had to be” vs “would have had to have been”

Being a non native speaker, I cannot spot the difference here: He would have had to have been there. He would have had to be there. The only thing that comes to my mind is that in the first case, ...
1
vote
8answers
1k views

Is there a difference between “bitter” and “better” in pronunciation?

I was wondering if there was any difference between "bitter" and "better" in pronunciation? My assumption is that one is pronounced with a soft "d" as in "better" and the other one with a hard "t" as ...
1
vote
3answers
124k views

What is the difference between 'curricula' and 'curriculum'?

What is the difference between 'curricula' and 'curriculum'? Both appear to have the same definition. Are they used in the same context?
0
votes
2answers
150 views

Is 'surely' the same as 'certainly'

Dictionaries provide the following- surely/ˈʃʊəli,ˈʃɔːli/ adverb, used to emphasize the speaker's firm belief that what they are saying is true and often their surprise that there is any doubt ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

“Could not have been” vs. “must not have been”

What's the difference between "could not have been" and "must not have been"? For example, That could not have been an easy task. That must not have been an easy task. I've seen both ...
0
votes
1answer
875 views

“I live on beans and rice” vs. “I live off beans and rice”

I wanted to refocus a related question on ell.se. towards a possible deeper and direct relationship to "on vs. off". Consider the following two phrases: I live off beans and rice. (Approx 94,000 ...
0
votes
2answers
683 views

Almost Vs. Hardly [closed]

According to http://oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/dictionary/hardly hardly has 4 meanings. And I was wondering is there any difference between these two sentences. In what meaning the word ...
0
votes
2answers
13k views

Can I use the terms “CEO” and “Managing Director” synonymously? [closed]

Can you please clarify if it's acceptable to use these terms interchangebly and if not point out to significant differences between these titles. It seems to me that it may be something with scale of ...
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?
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".
-2
votes
1answer
7k views

it's raining vs. it rains [closed]

I know what does it mean by saying "It's raining" but what about "It rains"? what does it imply when I say "It rains" right after saying "It's raining"? I saw it in a novel and get confused.
-3
votes
3answers
801 views

Which one is correct: “was/were dead” or “is/are dead” years ago? [closed]

What are the differences between “was/were dead” and “is/are dead”? For example, Osama is/was dead years ago. Are they interchangeable?
31
votes
3answers
16k views

Difference between “delete” and “remove” [closed]

I am writing a mobile application that will, as a part of its functionality, display a list of recorded thoughts. Now I am deciding the textual content of the menus and that left me thinking whether ...
25
votes
6answers
122k views

Difference between “résumé” and “CV”

What's the difference between résumé and CV? When is résumé used? And when is CV used? Are they equivalent?
25
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 ...
42
votes
4answers
54k views

“Unselect” or “Deselect”?

If I want the user to revert their operation of selecting an item, should I say: "Unselect the option" or "Deselect the option"?
32
votes
3answers
174k views

What's the difference between “eldest” and “oldest”?

When should I use "eldest" and when should I use "oldest"? Are the differences semantic or regional? (Or both?) (What got me wondering is the removeEldestEntry() method in Java's LinkedHashMap ...
13
votes
1answer
16k views

“Dependence” vs. “dependency”

These are two words that have baffled me for long. Dependency is given as 'excessive dependence' in Chambers, but I would love to know how the spoken usage is. My guess is dependency has a political ...
12
votes
3answers
37k views

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

What is the difference between metaphorical, allegorical, and figurative?
39
votes
6answers
6k views

“For all it's worth” or “for all its worth”?

Should I put an apostrophe in "for all its worth"? The meaning comes to about the same thing either way, as far as I can make out, and it seems like "it's" is more popular. But is there an accepted ...
19
votes
5answers
34k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
53k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
5k views

Are there any differences between “update” and “upgrade”?

Are there any differences between "update" and "upgrade"?
21
votes
5answers
15k views

“Extensible” vs. “extendible”

Where does the adjective form extensible come from and does it connote anything different than extendible? What's the difference, if any, between the two?
17
votes
4answers
22k views

Difference between “response” and “reply”

As far as I understand, replies are a subset of responses: A reply is a response in words or writing. However, responses can take many different forms, e.g. when a country responds in force to some ...
11
votes
7answers
75k views

Difference between “full professional proficiency” and “native or bilingual proficiency”

When I logged on to LinkedIn the other day, I was prompted to add information about which language I speak and at which level. I consider myself to be pretty fluent both in written and spoken English, ...
11
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
28k views

What's the difference between “egotism” and “egoism”?

I am interested in the difference between these two seemingly synonymous terms.
6
votes
5answers
26k views

Difference between “close” and “near”

What is the difference between the adjectives close and near? Are they totally synonymous? Is there some nuance that I'm missing? As a native speaker of Spanish, I can't see any difference, since ...
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
31k views

Difference between “pain” and “ache”

What's the difference between pain and ache? I often see the two words used (almost) interchangeably. At the same time the phrase "aches and pains" is pretty common, and seems to suggest that the two ...
14
votes
6answers
198k views

Difference between “supposedly” and “supposably”

What is the difference between supposedly and supposably? Both are real words but seem to have confusingly similar definitions. Supposably: Capable of being supposed : conceivable ...
13
votes
2answers
19k views

“Stack” vs. “pile” vs. “heap” of paper

What is the difference between stack, pile or heap of something, let it be for example paper? CS+IT people might tend to use the word heap, because there is a widely known datastructure by that name. ...
11
votes
3answers
21k views

Difference between “classical” and “classic”

What's the difference between classical and classic? Should we say classic content in textbooks or classical content in textbooks?
11
votes
6answers
12k views

What is the difference between “citizen” and “denizen”

Citizen: 1. A legally recognized subject ornational of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized. 2. An inhabitant of a particular town or city. Denizen: 1. An inhabitant or occupant of a ...
11
votes
5answers
6k views

Difference between “garbage” and “trash”?

What's the difference between garbage and trash? Is the difference significant?
10
votes
5answers
5k views

Difference between “laconic” and “concise”?

Those two words both seem to be about using a few words/a few steps to do something.
8
votes
4answers
545 views

Is lolspeak bad English, or just a different English?

Is lolspeak / internet speak (such as "plz send teh codez") bad English, or a different English? I can't really describe what'd be "bad", but a lack of consistency would be an indicator it's bad.
7
votes
3answers
7k views

Why do we say “right-hand side”?

This question is in reference to the use of the word "hand" in "right-hand side" (and applies equally to the left). My question is what does "right-hand side" say/imply that "right side" doesn't?
5
votes
7answers
18k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

can't have been vs. couldn't have been

I don't understand when and why to use can't have been. It seems so strange to me.
28
votes
8answers
58k views

Distinction: “What can I do you for?” vs. “What can I do for you?”

Usually, when being served the phrase "What can I do for you?" is used but sometimes I also hear "What can I do you for?" in quite the same context. So is there a difference or is it just a slip of ...
14
votes
4answers
110k views

“Warranty” vs. “guarantee”

Is there any relation or difference between warranty and guarantee? What do they mean? In what situations do we use them? For example, I suppose we say When we buy something it has a warranty.
13
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...