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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

10
votes
5answers
14k views

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

Is there any difference here at all?
10
votes
4answers
820 views

Ambiguous connotation of “just” - How do natives interpret these?

First of all, these questions are a bit related but not what I'm actually asking about: Is “I just spent all my money” grammatically incorrect? “I just ate them” and “I've just eaten them” - What's ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Usage of “many” vs “many a”?

Can someone please elucidate the difference between "many" and "many a"? In what context of usage should we add an extra "a" beside the word "many"? For example: Many times, I had seen ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

“Faster, not sooner”

Over the weekend, I watched a talking head on TV saying the following sentence. An economic recovery will come faster, not sooner. I can't make proper sense of this as both are synonymous to me. ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the difference between “rock” and “stone”?

What's the difference between "rock" and "stone"?
10
votes
2answers
36k views

“Covered with” vs. “covered in” vs. “covered by”

I want to find out the differences in meaning among covered by, covered in, and covered with. For example, what is the difference between: covered with blood covered in blood or the ...
10
votes
4answers
2k 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?
10
votes
8answers
13k 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?
10
votes
4answers
13k views

Which is correct: “home in” or “hone in”?

I've heard people say "Home in on something", but I've also heard others say "Hone in on something". Which is the correct expression, and what is the etymology of these?
10
votes
5answers
43k views

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

Can anyone explain the difference between by contrast and in contrast?
10
votes
1answer
7k 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?
10
votes
5answers
38k views

What's the difference between “client” and “customer”?

I already asked a similar question (customer vs. client vs. user vs. consumer of on-line service) but, I believe, there may be some differences between technical and legal jargon and general usage of ...
10
votes
3answers
155 views

Mike brought cake VS mike brought cake with him

What's the difference between these two expressions: Mike brought his guitar. Mike brought his guitar with him. How does "with him" change the meaning of the sentence?
10
votes
5answers
2k views

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

What is the semantic difference between encipher and encrypt?
10
votes
1answer
44k 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?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference in meaning between “on his job” and “in his job”

What does this sentence mean? He is working fifty percent more on his job and fifty percent less in his job. He is 100% happier.
10
votes
5answers
24k views

What's the difference between a picture and an image?

What's the difference between a picture and an image? I think this is the missing question as these have already been asked: Picture/Photo Image/Glyph Photo/Image
10
votes
3answers
27k views

Difference between “are you done” and “have you done.”

I was just wondering, how can we differentiate "are you done?" and "have you done?", and what is the appropriate way to use each?
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it absolutely necessary to use “than” over “then” in a comparison?

Do you think you are smarter then me? While this question should be using than...I have to wonder if this is a debatable topic within English or is this cut and dry? If this specific instance is ...
9
votes
3answers
668 views

“I park my car in the yard”

What is the origin of the different pronunciation of words like park, yard, cartoon, margarine in American and British English? In other words, why doesn’t British English generally pronounce the r ...
9
votes
2answers
916 views

Any differences between “slander” and “libel”?

Are there any differences between slander and libel?
9
votes
3answers
16k views

What's the difference between 'cutlery', 'silverware' and 'crockery'?

What's the difference between 'cutlery', 'silverware' and 'crockery'? Are there any differences between them?
9
votes
5answers
4k views

Difference between “laconic” and “concise”?

Those two words both seem to be about using a few words/a few steps to do something.
9
votes
4answers
34k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

What's the difference between “blond” and “blonde”?

I hear all the time that one word is for males and the other is for females but I'm skeptical...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the relationship between canon and cannon?

The spelling is similar and the meaning so different. Wiktionary indicates that there might be some relation by linking to canon from cannon but I didn't see any specific statements regarding their ...
9
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
901 views

Clarion call vs rallying cry

I'm studying for the GRE, and there was this one question (sentence completion) where I had to choose between selecting "clarion call" or "rallying cry" as the answer. What is the distinction between ...
9
votes
1answer
58k views

Difference between “zeros” and “zeroes” [duplicate]

Are there any differences between “zeros” and “zeroes”? Is any of them more correct, more often used, more modern? Are there differences e.g. between British English and American English in the usage ...
9
votes
3answers
30k views

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

What is the difference between metaphorical, allegorical, and figurative?
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: ...
9
votes
3answers
27k 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", ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

“Extract” v. “Extricate”

I was having a debate with my family about the differences between the usage of extract and extricate. For example, can one extricate a non-living item? Can one extricate a hair? We have heard of ...
9
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
20k views

“Experienced” vs. “seasoned”

Are these two words interchangeable? According to the Oxford dictionary, experienced means having knowledge or skill in a particular job or activity, while seasoned having a lot of experience in a ...
9
votes
3answers
44k views

“Give up” versus “give in”

Do give up and give in imply different meanings?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference between “Labyrinth” and “Maze”

I know the two are pretty much synonymous: labyrinth a complicated irregular network of passages or paths in which it is difficult to find one’s way; a maze maze a network of paths and ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

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

Is there any difference between switch and swap?
9
votes
3answers
21k views

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

I am interested in the difference between these two seemingly synonymous terms.
9
votes
3answers
22k views

“Often” and “oftentimes”

Is there any difference between the two terms 'often' and 'oftentimes'? They seem to be used interchangeably but is one more appropriate in certain situations than others? Is 'oftentimes' an older ...
9
votes
2answers
17k views

What's the difference between “apparel” and “clothing”?

Those two words seems referring to one thing.
9
votes
5answers
13k views

Differences between “propensity”, “predilection” and “proclivity”

Propensity, predilection and proclivity all have the meaning of tendency, so what's the difference? Are they interchangeable?
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
15k views

“Chalice” vs. “goblet”

Is there a difference between chalice and goblet, other than (maybe) religious connotations on the word chalice?
9
votes
2answers
16k views

What is the difference between a “stanza” and a “verse”, as applied to English literature?

What is the difference between 'stanza' and 'verse' in English Literature (Poetry)? I've read one of my classmate's essays and the word 'verse' cropped up - I thought that the word 'verse' was usually ...
8
votes
9answers
202k 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?
8
votes
4answers
531 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.
8
votes
4answers
403 views

“Dance macabre” or “macabre dance”

The role is the kind of high-wire dare certain types of actors and directors cannot resist. T. Scott Cunningham, who has created a number of lovable losers onstage in the last decade, lets the ...