Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Compare and Contrast

compare vs contrast

Compare and contrast are words that are often used to talk about the similarities and differences between two things or objects. These two words are very commonly used.

Compare means to see the similarity and contrast means to see the difference. According to various dictionaries, compare means ‘to represent things or objects in respect of similarity’ and contrast means ‘to represent things in respect of differences.’

Apart from these meanings, one struggles to find any differences between the two. If a person is looking at the similarities between two objects or things, then he may be comparing the two. On the other hand, if a person is looking at the dissimilarity between two things or objects, then he may be contrasting the two.

The word compare has been derived from the Latin word ‘comparare’, which means ‘to liken or to compare.’ The word contrast has been derived from the Latin words ‘contra’ and ‘stare’, which means ‘against’ and ‘to stand.’ In Middle English, contrast was used for meaning ‘fight against’ or ‘to withstand’ in a battle. Contrast lost its sheen during the end of 17th century but was later adopted in art forms.

Compare is mainly used to demonstrate relative values of the objects in all qualities. When comparing two things or objects, one can see the divergent views which could make one better than the other.

Summary

1. Compare and contrast are words that are often used to talk about the similarities and differences between two things or objects.
2. Apart from the difference in their meaning, one struggles to find any differences between the two.
3. According to various dictionaries, compare means ‘to represent things or objects in respect of similarity’ and contrast means ‘to represent things in respect of differences.’
4. If a person is looking at the similarities between two objects or things, then he may be comparing the two. On the other hand, if a person is looking at the dissimilarity between two things or objects, then he may be contrasting the two.
5. Where compare emphasises the similar qualities, contrast emphasises the differences.
6. The word compare has been derived from the Latin word ‘comparare’, which means ‘to liken or to compare.’ The word contrast has been derived from the Latin word ‘contra’ and ‘stare’, which means ‘against’ and ‘to stand.’


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