Table of contents:

"Difference" and "difference": how to stop confusing meanings and start speaking correctly
"Difference" and "difference": how to stop confusing meanings and start speaking correctly

The subtleties of the Russian language for those who strive for absolute literacy.

"Difference" and "difference": how to stop confusing meanings and start speaking correctly
"Difference" and "difference": how to stop confusing meanings and start speaking correctly

At first glance, it seems that these nouns mean the same thing and easily replace each other. However, there are nuances. Here's what you need to do in order to correctly use these words in your speech.

Consider shades of meaning

If we look at the definitions of these nouns in dictionaries, then we will not get an obvious answer, what is the difference in meanings.

  • Difference is the difference, the dissimilarity between someone or something.
  • The difference - a sign that creates a difference, a difference between someone or something.

But if the language has two very similar and at the same time different words, then this is clearly not just that. Let's dig a little deeper and see the definitions of verbs.

  • To differ - to have differences, dissimilarity in something.
  • Differ - have signs that create a distinction between a given person or object and others.

In the last definition, we just find the answer to our question: "between a given person or object and others." Singling out someone or something specific among others is a fundamental point, that is, to be different is to stand out.

And to be different is to be different. The important thing is that in this case we do not single out someone or something among the objects that we are comparing. Yes, people or objects are different, but we perceive them as some kind of unity.

It will be easier to understand this difference if we turn to other meanings of the words in question.

  • To differ - to be discernible, perceived by the senses. In the darkness, the silhouette of a stranger was barely visible.
  • Differ - to stand out from others. Ignat was distinguished by a sharp mind.

In the first case, the fact of identification of someone or something is important to us, and in the second, his dissimilarity from the environment.

The word "difference" has one significant meaning. This is the name given to merit in any field and the badge of honor or diploma that is given for such merits. Ivan Petrovich was awarded for military distinction.

Another example will help clarify the shades of meaning. Insignia on uniforms are needed to designate a rank, type of service or department, that is, for classification within a unity. And insignia are orders and medals. With their help, specific people are distinguished from the general unity.

Pay attention to the names of persons or objects

Speaking of differences, as a subject, we use a common name for compared persons and objects or homogeneous members. People differ in financial capabilities. Petya and Kostya differ in their financial capabilities.

If we are talking about differences, as a subject we use the name of someone or something, who or what is the center of our attention, and that or that, with whom and with what we are comparing, acts as an addition. Peter is different from Bones financial capabilities. Rich differ from the poor their financial capabilities.

Compare the two sentences:

  • What is the difference between this piece of music?
  • What is the difference between these pieces of music?

In the first sentence, we talk about a specific work, distinguishing it from many others. In the second - about a certain set, inside of which we are trying to figure it out.

Do not forget about official words

When we talk about differences, we use the preposition "between". People are different between yourself.

But we can also use the conjunction "and". Sausage and sausages vary in composition.

If we are talking about differences, then we use the preposition "from". Petya is different from Bones.

In this case, we can also use the conjunction "and", but the preposition "from" will have to be added - in the phrase "from each other" or similar. Peter and Kostya are different each from friend.