I am not a native English speaker and currently writing on a scientific journal. In my paper, I want to explain a fundamental difference when comparing my idea with other methods. I need a synonym for "different". I would like to make my presentation precise and concise, so "fundamentally different" seems not the optimal option. Any specific word/phase can express the difference in terms of their essence or principle?

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  • Currently my best word-choice is "radical difference" – user91232 Feb 13 '15 at 11:26
  • You may wish to browse the wealth of options available to you in a good thesaurus. Barring that, can you tell us more about this difference, supply more content, and eg why you feel "fundamental" is not optimal but "radical" might suit? Without more information, we can't provide any more specific or targeted suggestions than a thesaurus can. – Dan Bron Feb 13 '15 at 11:46
  • 'fundamentally different' often can be replaced with 'alternative' – JonMark Perry Feb 13 '15 at 13:08
  • I would like to explain different problem modelling. The differences come from the essence behind those models. May be "radical" expresses the same idea as "fundamental". I will accept the suggestion to use "contrast", although it seems not the perfect optimal. :) – user91232 Feb 13 '15 at 14:06

The word often used in technical documents is contrast.

  • In contrast to the mostly hot and arid climate of Arizona, and the hot and humid discomfort of southern Texas, western Oregon is cool and imbued with lots of rain.

  • Title of this evening's discussion: Contrasting the differences between capitalism and communism.

  • I would like to place the ion migration patterns of bipolar junction in contrast to the MOS field effect channel.

  • Anna and Angela provide a startling contrast between a working mother and a care-free socialite.

Another term used is distinct

  • distinctive differences/advantages/features
  • There are distinct advantages of derivative financial instruments in comparison to the usual stock and bonds investment strategies.
  • +1 And contrast can be emphasized by saying in stark contrast to. – bib Feb 13 '15 at 12:39

If "fundamentally different" seems not the optimal option for you then the word you are looking for is distinct; distinguished as not being the same; not identical; separate (sometimes followed by from).

2. different in nature or quality; dissimilar (sometimes followed by from).

3. clear to the senses or intellect; plain; unmistakable.

4. distinguishing or perceiving clearly.

5. unquestionably exceptional or notable.


Depending on what you're discussing, diametrically opposite or simply diametric is one of my favorites.

2 : completely opposed : being at opposite extremes [in diametric contradiction to his claims]



Sounds like you 'took / used a different / new / novel / alternative / divergent / -insert suitable adjective- approach' to problem modeling.

If you change the idea behind the normal way to solve a problem, you take a different approach to it.

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