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I'm not sure if those two words are completely synonymous in all context and which connotation they have.

Here are some example sentences where I would use them synchronously, but I'm not sure if this is correct:

  1. Answering this question is [easy / simple].
  2. His live is [easy / simple].

I think there is a difference in

  1. I can simply / easily do it: The first sounds a bit more like somebody is resignating, e.g. somebody else did not do the job he was supposed to do. The second emphasizes that the task is not difficult.

And here is the Google ngram:

enter image description here

marked as duplicate by Martin Thoma, Edwin Ashworth, Community Jun 27 '17 at 19:34

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  • 2
    They can have the same meaning, but not necessarily. I can have assembly instructions which are easy but not simple; they consist of 25 simple steps, but while the entire process is easy, it is not simple. See also english.stackexchange.com/questions/275515/easy-vs-simple – Davo Jun 27 '17 at 18:57
  • Thank you. I think my question is a duplicate of the link you provided. – Martin Thoma Jun 27 '17 at 19:07
  • Golf is a very simple game, but it's not easy. – Laconic Droid Jun 27 '17 at 19:33

They can be used synonymously in many contexts but not all. I remember a good example from the film, The Prestige where one of the main characters performs a magic trick that involves two separate magicians sharing the same life--"Simple, yes. But not easy." In this context, simple means that the concept is basic but to actually carry it out is in no way easy.

Simple means that the essential concept is not complex, whereas easy refers to an action that can be performed with little difficulty.

  • 1
    You mean, Prestige, not Illusionist, I believe. – NVZ Jun 27 '17 at 19:13
  • Fixed, thanks. There were two movies about magicians that came out around the same time. Obviously I conflated them in my mind. – AffableAmbler Jun 27 '17 at 19:15

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