Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Conduct and Perform

Conduct vs Perform

Conducting and performing are different concepts, though not mutually exclusive. The word “perform” implies an audience, while “conduct” implies leadership. Both words can relate to music or theatre as well as personal characteristics and workplace dynamics. This article will define “conduct” and “perform” and give many sample sentences to help you understand their various uses.

Conduct, pronounced /kənˈdʌkt/, is most often used as a verb and has various definitions, according to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Here are the most important definitions with their common collocations and some sample sentences:

[transitive verb] “to organize and/or do a particular activity.”
Collocations: “to conduct [something],” as in “to conduct an experiment” or “to conduct a survey.”
Sample sentences:
She conducted an experiment on sleep patterns.
He helped me conduct a survey of my classmates’ breakfast eating.
[transitive or intransitive verb] “to direct a group of people who are singing or playing music.”
Collocations: “to conduct [something],” as in “to conduct an/the orchestra/chorus.” Often used as “conducted by [someone].”
Sample sentences:
The community orchestra played a concert conducted by James Smith.
James Smith conducts the community orchestra and chorus.
Someone who conducts an orchestra or chorus is called a conductor.
[transitive verb] “to behave in a particular way.”
Collocations: “to conduct yourself + adverb/preposition”
Sample sentences:
Jimmy conducted himself well at the birthday party.
She did not conduct herself as well as she was supposed to.
How do the workers conduct themselves at the office?

Perform, pronounced /pərˈfɔːrm/, is also a verb and has a few different key definitions. Here is how the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines “perform”:

[transitive verb] “to do something, such as a piece of work, task or duty.”
Collocations: “to perform [something],” as in “to perform an experiment” or “to perform an operation.”
Sample sentences:
The scientist performed an experiment that had never been done before.
Jane performs an important role in our office.
Computers can perform many tasks at the same time.
A synonym of “perform” in this sense is “carry out.”
[transitive or intransitive verb] “to entertain an audience by playing a piece of music, acting in a play, etc.”
Collocations: “to perform [something],” as in “to perform on the clarinet,” “to perform a play/drama,” “to perform magic tricks,” “to perform with [someone/a group].”
Sample sentences:
She performed beautifully on the clarinet at her recital last week.
I love watching you perform with the orchestra.
He kept performing magic tricks, even when we asked him to stop.
[intransitive verb] “to work or function well or badly.”
Collocations: “to perform well/badly/poorly”
Sample sentences:
The computer is not performing well; it is very slow.
The football player performed poorly in the game last week.
She performed very well on her math test.

As you can see, “perform” and “conduct” have some similar meanings and usages. Both are used in musical contexts and personal behavior. But “conduct” is more closely related to leading or guiding. People who conduct are at the head of a group and are helping them towards a goal. “Perform” has more to do with being watched or observed. People who perform are doing a specific thing for a specific purpose and they may be judged well or poorly for it.


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