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The word "different" is the opposite of "same." When something is different, we understand what the difference is by making a comparison.

These sentences and questions provide examples of the adjective "different."

  • An apple is very different from an orange.
  • How are those two men different from each other?
  • She's different from all the other girls that Bill has gone out with. (Notice that "from" often follows the word "different.")
  • I didn't realize they each spoke a different language. She speaks Cantonese and he speaks Mandarin.
  • How are those two ideas different?
  • You should sit in a different seat--one that's closer to the board.

These sentences provide examples of the noun "difference."

  • There are many differences between an apple and an orange.
  • There's no difference between those two people. They're exactly the same.
  • There's a big difference between the girl that Bill is going out with now and the girls he has gone out with in the past.
  • Differences between Cantonese and Mandarin are hard to distinguish by someone who speaks neither language.
  • It doesn't make any difference to me whether you like my ideas or not.
  • Sitting in front of the classroom made a big difference in her grades. Now she's an "A" student.


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This page was first published on April 7, 2012. It was amended on February 4, 2015.



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