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

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13
votes
7answers
23k views

Difference between “canteen” and “cafeteria”

Are there any differences between canteen and cafeteria? In India, usually an eating place attached to an office, factory or school is called a canteen. Of course, in some new offices it is called ...
13
votes
2answers
77k views

Surname, family name and last name

What is the difference between the three terms: surname, family name and last name? Do they mean the same? Or are there any particular contexts wherein one is more appropriate than the other?
13
votes
4answers
48k views

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

I am interested in the difference between these two seemingly synonymous terms.
13
votes
2answers
13k views

What is the distinction between “role” and “rôle” [with a circumflex]?

One of our users, Stan Rogers, mentioned there was such a distinction, I think, when he answered a question and talked about how the orthography of foreign loan-words typically changes to conform with ...
13
votes
5answers
47k 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
3answers
7k 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.
13
votes
2answers
870 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
12k 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" (...
12
votes
10answers
478k 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
17k views

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

What is the difference between color and colour?
12
votes
5answers
10k views

Difference between “garbage” and “trash”?

What's the difference between garbage and trash? Is the difference significant?
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
17k 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
5k 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
9k 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
26k 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 ...
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, that'...
12
votes
4answers
83k 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 run ...
12
votes
3answers
18k 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
2k views

What is the difference between a cafe and a diner?

I recently ate at an establishment called The Park Cafe and Diner. How could a debate not ensue? What is the difference between a Cafe and Diner? Apparently, this place is both. I have read various ...
12
votes
2answers
97k views

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

Is there a clear-cut difference between dissatisfied and unsatisfied?
12
votes
6answers
14k 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
4answers
68k 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?
12
votes
4answers
22k 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
8answers
26k 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?
12
votes
1answer
15k 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
3answers
10k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
18k views

What's the difference between “recall” and “remember”?

As an example, in a legal setting: Do you recall what color the car was? Do you remember what color the car was? Which would be more appropriate?
12
votes
1answer
4k 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
2answers
300 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
6answers
25k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
25k views

“Criticism” vs. “critique”

What is the difference in meaning between criticism and critique?
11
votes
5answers
3k 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
58k 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
48k 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
48k 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
5answers
29k 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 locally)...
11
votes
4answers
52k 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
82k 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
4answers
31k views

Difference between “assent” and “consent”

What is the difference between assent and consent?
11
votes
3answers
29k 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
14k views

What's the difference between orthography and spelling?

The terms "spelling" and "orthography" seem to be largely synonymous. What is the difference really? Is it that "orthography" is a more formal or technical term and hence more well-defined? Or is it ...
11
votes
3answers
86k 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
42k 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
5answers
18k views

Is “administrate” a valid English verb? What's the difference between it and “administer”?

We had an interesting discussion yesterday about the use of administer and administrate. I feel that there is a case for both usages -- sometimes you might administer something, and other times you ...