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

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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
8k 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
119k 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
140 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
1k 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
818 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
631 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
12k 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
992 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
996 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
6k 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
754 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?
29
votes
3answers
15k 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
109k 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 ...
41
votes
4answers
51k 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
165k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
15k 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
35k 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
31k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
5k views

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

Are there any differences between "update" and "upgrade"?
21
votes
5answers
14k 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?
16
votes
4answers
21k 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
71k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
26k views

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

I am interested in the difference between these two seemingly synonymous terms.
6
votes
5answers
25k 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
50k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
189k 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
18k 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
20k 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
541 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
17k 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
7k 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.
14
votes
4answers
103k 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
4k 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 ...
12
votes
9answers
14k views

Difference between “question” and “query”

What is the difference between a question and a query? It seems that in certain circumstances, the words are interchangeable: I have one further question. I have one further query. But, ...
12
votes
1answer
54k 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?
11
votes
3answers
20k views

Difference between “choose” and “select”

These two words are often used interchangeably and the greatest difference I can find between the two is "choose" for choosing multiple items from a set, and "select" for selecting a single item from ...
11
votes
5answers
51k views

What is the difference between “by contrast” and “in contrast?”

Can anyone explain the difference between by contrast and in contrast?
10
votes
17answers
30k 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 ...