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

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11
votes
7answers
79k 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
5answers
15k 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
16k views

“Postfix” or “suffix”?

Wikipedia and The Free Dictionary were not much help — is there a practical difference in the semantics of suffix and postfix, except that the latter is more rare? File name extensions are well ...
11
votes
4answers
34k views

“I like to do (be) something” vs “I like doing (being) something”

This is what I read in an answer to a previous question: Verbs Followed by Either Gerund or Infinitive Sometimes the meaning changes according to the verb used. <…> (dis)like ...
11
votes
3answers
35k 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", ...
11
votes
4answers
13k 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
3answers
22k 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
4answers
56k views

Semantic difference between “engine” and “motor” [closed]

Is there a semantic difference between engine and motor? In some cases, would the use of one or the other word be technically incorrect?
11
votes
5answers
61k views

What is the difference between “speaking” and “talking”?

It seems more politically correct to say that someone is speaking rather than talking. What is the definitive difference between these terms?
11
votes
1answer
9k 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?
11
votes
3answers
21k 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
55k views

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

Can anyone explain the difference between by contrast and in contrast?
11
votes
8answers
30k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
34k 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
11
votes
4answers
5k views

“Paradise” vs. “heaven”

What is the difference in use between "paradise" and "heaven"? I feel that heaven is more spiritual, something that probably couldn't even be imagined. When you say paradise, you can denote something ...
11
votes
3answers
22k views

Difference between “scheme” and “schema” [closed]

What is the difference between scheme and schema? Where do you use one and not the other? schema a diagram, plan, or scheme. Synonyms: outline, framework, model. an underlying organizational ...
10
votes
5answers
8k views

“Known unknown” vs. “unknown known”

I was recently reading a review of Donald Rumsfeld's autobiography. The reviewer cited one of his famous phrases; he quoted it as "unknown known." Now my memory was that the phrase Rumsfeld used was ...
10
votes
17answers
36k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
702 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 ...
10
votes
10answers
36k 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
5k 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
4answers
987 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
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.
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
5k views

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

What's the difference between "rock" and "stone"?
10
votes
4answers
52k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
3k 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
18k 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
16k 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
3answers
36k views

Difference between phrase, idiom and expression [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between an expression and a phrase? Difference between “phrase” and “idiom” What is the difference between a phrase, an ...
10
votes
5answers
47k 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
7answers
10k 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.
10
votes
1answer
26k 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?
10
votes
3answers
157 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
3answers
43k 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 ...
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
16k 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?
10
votes
6answers
17k views

What is the difference between “to oblige” and “to obligate”?

What's the difference between oblige and obligate? Speculating, is the latter an Americanism of the British former? Or is there any distinction about what/who has caused someone to be oblig(at)ed to ...
10
votes
3answers
35k 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
5answers
2k views

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

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
2answers
1k views

Any differences between “slander” and “libel”?

Are there any differences between slander and libel?
9
votes
3answers
20k 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
3answers
41k views

What is the difference between optimal and optimum? [closed]

My question is exactly as the title says. Someone used "optimum" in an email to me and in my response I used "optimal," so I began wondering what the difference between them is.
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between “onerous” and “arduous”?

Is there any difference in the meaning of these words? Which one of them is used the most in everyday conversation? In my vocabulary for both words I've found essentially the same meaning: "difficult ...
9
votes
3answers
132k views

“Agree on” vs. “agree with” vs. “agree to”

What are the differences between "agree on", "agree with" and "agree to"?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between Backronym and Acronym?

Are Backronym and Acronym same? I don't understand the difference between these two terms.
9
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the difference between “grammar” and “usage”?

I'm surprised this has not been asked and answered on this Site--perhaps it has, but my search found nothing. The closest question to this one i could find sought the difference between grammar and ...