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

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4
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference between “measurement” and “measuring”

What is the difference between the nouns measurement and measuring? Can I say the measurement has stopped the same way I can say the measuring has stopped?
23
votes
9answers
6k views
+150

Do the words “jail” and “prison” refer to different things?

In everyday speech, the terms jail and prison are used interchangeably in many situations. However, my understanding is that, at least in the US, they actually refer to slightly different things. For ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

“get one's head around” vs “get one's arms around”

I have seen both idioms used in practice. The definitions I found, http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get+arms+around, and http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get+head+around don't indicate much ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Difference between philistine and anti-intellectual [closed]

Is philistine simply a more archaic usage ? Is a philistine a more specific kind of anti-intellectual ? Or are they interchangeable ? Research: OED: Anti-intellectual: NOUN A person who scorns ...
-1
votes
2answers
72 views

Is there any difference between deputies & lawmakers? [closed]

As a non-native speaker quite often I get in trouble with slight differences between concepts. So, regarding to this doubt I think both of them are used to express the same thing but I'm not sure ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What are differences of meaning among device, gadget, gimmick and gizmo?

Further to today's my question about the words, 'off-the-shelf' used in Time Magazine's feature story titled 'The Best 50 Invention of The Year' (Nov. 11th 2010 Issue), I found the following sentence ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

“replace” vs. “substitute”

When you replace somebody with somebody else, does it refer to a permanent change usually for a better one? In "The company replaced Alice with a new secretary", does it refer to a permanent change? ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

What is the difference between 'same' and 'identical'? [on hold]

As far as I know, these two words (same and identical) have exactly the same meaning. Is there actually any difference between them?
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Difference between 'get at' and 'get on at'

E.g. 'My boss is always getting on at me even if I haven't done anything wrong.' 'Her parents keep getting at her for skipping classes.' I'm wondering whether these phrasal verbs have ...
5
votes
3answers
78 views

Difference between an “issue” and a “challenge” [on hold]

I've often heard the question asked, "What are the challenges and issues faced in implementing X technology?" or "What are the challenges and issues faced by X?". Do challenges and issues mean the ...
4
votes
2answers
75 views

Difference between “abate” and “bate”

What is the difference between abate and bate? How are they used differently? Do they both mean the same thing? (from the Free Dictionary) The definition of abate is 'to reduce in amount, degree, or ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Monochrome vs. Monochromatic

What is the usage difference for the words monochrome (as an adjective) and monochromatic? Various dictionaries seem to have nearly identical definitions for the two words.
0
votes
0answers
9 views

“it is good” and “that is good” [migrated]

What is the difference between it is good that is good
2
votes
4answers
5k 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.
1
vote
3answers
55 views

“characteristic” vs. “typical”

What is the difference between characteristic and typical? I've seen that they both are used with kinda the same structure (be characteristic/typical of sb/sth) Like: "This hospitality is ...
1
vote
3answers
59 views

What is the difference between “He is polite” and “He is being polite”?

Can any one please explain the usage and meaning of "He is polite" and "He is being polite".
-1
votes
1answer
51 views

difference between emigrate, immigrate, and migrate? [closed]

what is the difference between emigrate, immigrate, and migrate? I am pretty much confused.
0
votes
2answers
176 views

Do these sentences mean the same thing?

Do these sentences all mean the same thing? You are not great because you know many things. You are great not because you know many things. You are great for another reason. As another example, ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

“Trawling through” or “trolling through”

There are quite a few discussions online about whether one can "trawl through" or "troll through", looking for something. From what I can see, both are fishing terms so both are legitimate in ...
4
votes
6answers
6k views

Difference between “dumb” and “stupid”

A friend and I had a disagreement about something, in which he called one of my statements "dumb". As we were talking through the disagreement, it got a little heated and I tried repeating what he had ...
11
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

The insured vs. the assured

Consider the following statement (written in the context of marine cargo insurance): The insurers plead negligence on the part of the assured. The writer is British. Is the use of assured ...
2
votes
2answers
38 views

When to use “in” and “at”

when do I use "in" and "at" in a sentence? for example is "I will coming to learn English in India or At India"
6
votes
3answers
418 views

Whence came the different varieties of long /i/?

What is the origin of “long long /i/” before voiced consonants (the [ai] of wide, while, & tribe) versus “short long /i/” before unvoiced consonants (the [ʌi] of white, wife, & ...
5
votes
2answers
95 views

Why “pastime” but not “passtime”?

pastime n. An activity that occupies one's spare time pleasantly: Sailing is her favorite pastime. [TFD] Etymonline says that it is from pass + time: late 15c., passe tyme "recreation, ...
9
votes
4answers
32k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
244 views

What is the difference between these “distancing expressions”?

There are a number of words that mean "generally believed to be true but not necessarily true" but their connotations differ tremendously. Some examples of these are allegedly putatively ...
5
votes
2answers
683 views

Is the 'fore' in 'forewarn' redundant?

In what situation would you use 'forewarn' instead of plain old 'warn'? The 'fore' part seems redundant to me.
0
votes
3answers
115 views

Break up vs breakup vs break down

I needed to break up the tasks of an estimate. I needed to breakup the tasks of an estimate. I needed to break down the tasks of an estimate. Which one of the above is correct and Why? When to use ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Difference between “needed” and “necessary”

What is the difference between those two words? Example sentence: "this can greatly reduce the needed | necessary effort". I found some posts saying that necessary is more urgent?! Are there more ...
2
votes
4answers
728 views

“Birthday” vs. “anniversary”

Are there general guidelines for using "anniversary" vs. "birthday"? E.g., birthdays are generally for... well, birthdays. It's also used for some notable historical dates regarding countries ("Our ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

If you have/had/did not + verb + yet

What is the correct sentence(s) in those : 1 If you haven't read this yet, I recommend doing it. 2 If you had not read this yet, I recommend doing it. 3 If you didn't read this yet, ...
2
votes
4answers
70 views

“No worry” vs. “No worries”

I'm confused which one is correct. Do they have the same meaning? Or different in various contexts? Thanks!
2
votes
3answers
70 views

Difference between obfuscate and obscure?

I see the words used in the same situations. Is there a particular difference that would help me understand when each one should be used? Etymology Obfuscate Latin fuscus for dark Etymology Obscure ...
6
votes
4answers
8k views

'Clean' vs 'Clear'

What is their difference? Please provide an example (or two if the use as verb or adjective differentiates their meanings).
4
votes
3answers
116 views

Therefore vs. wherefore [closed]

I saw these words in The Silmarillion: Then there was unrest among the Ainur; but Ilúvatar called to them, and said: ‘I know the desire of your minds that what ye have seen should verily be, not ...
2
votes
1answer
30k views

Correct use of “but”, “however” and “although”

I am not sure which conjunction to use in the following context: I know about programming but I have a little bit of confusion in Java programming. I know about programming although I have a ...
3
votes
3answers
11k views

“I'm starving” vs. “I'm starved”

I've heard on some American TV shows "I'm starving" instead of "I'm starved". What is the correct usage of both sentences?.
2
votes
1answer
39 views

gone vs. due (words refering to pregnancy)

You hear sentences like "How far gone is she?" Or "When is she due?" Used to talk about pregnancy... A few days ago one of my collegues used the sentence "How long is she due?" and insisted that it's ...
3
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

“Tickle Monster” vs. “Tickling Monster”

My small kids like tickling - we play a "Tickle Monster" game. I am wondering, is there any difference between word pairs like tickle monster vs. tickling monster tickle machine vs. tickling machine ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Difference between “convert” and “transform”

In the dictionary, the words "convert" and "transform" both have the meaning of changing the form of something. So how should I distinguish them? In what situation they are of the same meaning, and in ...
6
votes
3answers
5k 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?
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Is there a fraction prefix for “(one-)third”?

I am a mathematician, working with things called 1⁄k-regular polytopes, dubbed thus by Conway. For the case of k = 2, as in ½-regular, it is naturally pronounced and written half-regular. However, I ...
0
votes
3answers
129 views
4
votes
3answers
9k views

“Pay attention” vs. “give attention”

Between 'pay' and 'give' I guess you are most likely to choose 'give' for the blank below. However, 'pay' sounds more suited for the second 'attention.' I wonder why. Is it because the second sentence ...
2
votes
3answers
54 views

Expiry or expiration?

Do these 2 sentences have particular reasons? Could we use both? A. Not less than 30 days of the expiration. B. Not less than 30 days of the expiry date.
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Difference between “jargon” and “technical terms”

Each subject matter has its own set of terms called jargon which is expressed in its particular grammatical rules. Technical terminology or Term of Art is the specialized vocabulary of any specialized ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

“She always sees…” or “She is always seeing…”

She always sees things that don't exist. She is always seeing things that don't exist. In the first sentence we use verb "to see" in the present simple tense. In the second sentence, verb ...