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

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13
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5answers
45k views

Is there a semantic difference between “pedophile” and “pederast”?

If I understand the etymology of pedophile and pederast, both mean child lover. Is there a difference in their connotation? In some recent local news stories that discuss changing sex offender laws, ...
13
votes
2answers
861 views

Is “so” more feminine than “very”?

Many Japanese textbooks of English mention the "feminine 'so'": the use of "so" for "very" is more typical of a feminine speaker. I don't think this is true in the US (I learned English living in ...
13
votes
3answers
11k views

Difference in usage of “regular”, “usual”, “ordinary”, “normal”, “common”

Sometimes it is obvious which of the following words to use, sometimes not: regular usual ordinary normal common For example: "regular coffee" (not usual, normal or ordinary) , "ordinary people" ...
13
votes
2answers
263 views

Much and many: the opposite of less - fewer debate?

This morning, I corrected my little son on his use of much. I don't have much Star Wars guys. He seems to use this word quite frequently in place of many, although he doesn't often use many in ...
12
votes
10answers
448k views

What is the difference between “curd” and “yogurt”?

Most people use the words curd and yogurt interchangeably. Both are made by fermenting milk. Is there a difference between the two, or are they the same?
12
votes
3answers
16k views

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

What is the difference between color and colour?
12
votes
5answers
9k views

Difference between “garbage” and “trash”?

What's the difference between garbage and trash? Is the difference significant?
12
votes
4answers
77k views

Difference between “smart” and “clever”

What is the difference between smart and clever? As far as I understand the latter is offensive. But the Cambrige Dictionary gives similar definitions of smart and clever.
12
votes
7answers
4k views

Can “crepuscular” and/or “twilight” apply to morning half-light as well as in the evening

I know that's "sorta" two questions in one, but I'm stuck in an argument with a guy who says both words can apply to morning half-light. I disagree and think both only apply in the evening. I think ...
12
votes
5answers
16k views

'Clean' vs 'Clear'

What is their difference? Please provide an example (or two if the use as verb or adjective differentiates their meanings).
12
votes
4answers
4k views

Are “smell like” and “smell of” the same?

Is there any difference between smell like and smell of? I came across this sentence in the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary: My hands smell like (US) / of (UK) onion. But I'm not really ...
12
votes
4answers
8k 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?
12
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I distinguish “can” & “can't” from pronunciation?

It's very difficult for me to separate them. I was just listening to some video and it said "Fat cells can’t reproduce themselves." What I thought I've heard is "... CAN reproduce ..." Frankly, ...
12
votes
4answers
76k views

“Percent” vs. “percentile”

Just because .01% of people may be at risk of frying themselves on the third rail doesn't mean they need to modify the system for that miniscule percentile. It just means you need to let Darwinism ...
12
votes
3answers
17k views

“Between A and B” or “from A to B”

Suppose we are talking about the numbers 1, 2, ... , 10. When we use the phrase between 1 and 10, do we include the end-points 1 and 10? Is there any difference if we say from 1 to 10 instead?
12
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
13k views

Difference between “run into”, “come upon” and “come across”

These phrasal verbs have a similar meaning (please correct me if not): run into come across come upon Are there any nuances to choose between them? For example, I might be wrong but I mostly see ...
12
votes
5answers
4k views

“Play it as it lays” or “play it as it lies”

The title of Joan Didion's book Play It as It Lays has thrown me off since I first heard it. Shouldn't it be Play It as It Lies? I have read through a related post on the subject of lay vs. lie and ...
12
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
14k views

“Broadcast” or “broadcasted”

I'm not a native English speaker, so sorry if this is a very basic question. Is broadcast a verb? If it is, what is the simple past and past participle: broadcasted?
12
votes
4answers
45k views

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

I am interested in the difference between these two seemingly synonymous terms.
12
votes
1answer
3k views

Concatenate vs. Catenate

What is the difference between concatenate and catenate? Are the words interchangeable? concatenate: 1. To connect or link in a series or chain. 2. Computer Science To arrange (strings of ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Difference between 'later' and 'later on'

Is there any difference between the usage of 'later' and 'later on'? I'll see you later. I'll finish it later on.
11
votes
5answers
2k views

'Nobody' vs 'No body' [closed]

What is the difference between Nobody and No body? Both have same meaning. Nobody is used as a pronoun. For example, Nobody is going there. Nobody as a noun. For example, He became Nobody ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the difference between a “fen” and a “dale”?

What's the difference between a fen and a dale? Are these words used precisely at all? My question comes from Kipling’s poem The Spirit of England; if you'll notice, each couplet, plain and hill, ...
11
votes
17answers
55k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
44k views

Difference between contract and catch [a disease]

What could be the difference between contracting a disease and catching a disease? I know there isn't any big difference. However, it looks like there are some diseases you can both catch and ...
11
votes
6answers
16k 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
3answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
10answers
46k views

“Integrity” vs. “honesty”—what's the difference?

In what situations would you say that someone "has integrity" as opposed to "behaves with honesty"? For instance, if an employee is meticulous about reporting his hours, does he have integrity or is ...
11
votes
3answers
23k views

What's the difference between a murder and an assassination? [closed]

I am unsure what the technical difference is between a murder and an assassination. Instinctively I feel it's to do with the victim - perhaps their fame? Royalty? What is the distinction between the ...
11
votes
5answers
27k views

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

Is there any difference here at all?
11
votes
5answers
18k views

What's the difference between “these” and “those”?

First of all, I'm not a native English speaker, but in school I learned that these is used if referring to something near, and those is used when referring to something far away (temporally or ...
11
votes
4answers
49k views

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

Could anybody describe me difference between I've added and I added?
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Hex, curse, spell, jinx, charm

I'm listening to some Harry Potter audio books, and there are so many words describing the work of the spell. One can be cursed, charmed, hexed or jinxed. What's the difference?
11
votes
6answers
79k views

Difference between a sweater and a sweatshirt

Many clothing websites use distinct categories for both sweaters and sweatshirts. But what is the difference?
11
votes
2answers
92k views

What's the difference between “dissatisfied” and “unsatisfied”?

Is there a clear-cut difference between dissatisfied and unsatisfied?
11
votes
3answers
39k views

“Whole” vs. “entire”

I wonder if there is a difference between the words "whole" and "entire". For example, the following sentences: I spent my whole life waiting for you. I spent my entire life waiting for you. ...
11
votes
4answers
30k views

Difference between “assent” and “consent”

What is the difference between assent and consent?
11
votes
8answers
25k views

What's the difference between “cup” and “glass”?

Are "cup" and "glass" the same in English? Can I call a "glass" a cup made of plastic?
11
votes
3answers
28k 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
3answers
9k views

When should I use “corpuses” over “corpora”?

I've come into a situation where I need to use the plural form of corpus, but I'm a bit confused about which plural form to use. Merriam-Webster says the only plural form is corpora, for all senses ...
11
votes
3answers
78k views

Difference between “purpose”, “aim”, “target”, “goal”, “objective”, and “ambition”

What is the difference between “purpose”, “aim”, “target”, “goal”, “objective”, and “ambition”? I found these questions: Difference between “aim” and “purpose” Difference between “purpose” and ...
11
votes
1answer
39k views

“Did you find” versus “have you found”

What is the difference between "Did you find?" and "Have you found?" When should I use the first sentence, and when the second one?
11
votes
4answers
6k views

What’s the difference between “line” and “row”?

I’m not exactly sure under which circumstances is line or row the more suitable term. In Portuguese, they both translate to the same word linha, which can be used for both a drawing line or for an ...
11
votes
7answers
14k views

Difference between “without” and “with no”

What is the difference between the usage of without and with no? For example, without sound and with no sound.
11
votes
2answers
9k views

Is there any difference between “switch” and “swap”?

Is there any difference between switch and swap?
11
votes
3answers
54k views

What's the difference between “imbalance” and “unbalance”?

Is there a difference in usage between imbalance and unbalance as nouns? Specifically, we are designing a product where we measure three (3) related quantities continuously. These three quantities ...
11
votes
3answers
29k views

What's the difference between “day” and “date”?

Day may refer to: the day of the week (e.g., Monday, Tuesday); the day of the month (e.g, 2nd day of February); a unit of time (e.g., this task would take 2 days to complete). A date on the other ...
11
votes
4answers
19k views

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

Do both mean exactly the same or do they have slightly different meanings?