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Difference Between Difference and Different

Difference Between Difference and Different

Difference vs. Different

“Difference” and “different” are relative terms with the same denotation of being dissimilar and not of the same kind. The two are equivalent to each other and are derived from the same Latin root word – “differentia” or “differentem.”

As relative terms, their synonyms and meanings are the same terms – dissimilarity, unlikeness, having distinctions between two things, entities, situations, or hinting at change.

As words, “different” and “difference” show some qualities that are not the same or alike. “Difference” is a noun and can be used as a part of idioms. As a noun, it specifies the extent or quality of dissimilarity or contrasts between two things, situations, or entities.
Aside from its use in grammar, “difference” is also the term used for the answer in the subtraction process as well as in logic (as a substitute for differentia), heraldry, and medicine.

Meanwhile, “different” is an adjective. As an adjective, it modifies a noun and can have some relative forms as a noun – “differentness,” an adjective – “undifferent” or “indifferent,” and an adverb – “differently” or “indifferently.”

The word “different” also has constructions when a preposition is added. The most common forms are “different to” and “different from.” “Different than” doesn’t belong in this category since “than” is a conjunction.

Difference Between Difference and Different-1

In word usage, “different from” is often used to introduce a phrase or a clause as well as when comparing two things. It is also used as an alternative to “different than.” It is considered a standard in spoken and written American English. In terms of usage, the majority of academics and teachers prefer “different from” as proper usage.

In usage in a clause, the clause often starts with a conjunction and functions as a noun. “Different from” is also preferred to use without inducing wordiness if it followed by a single noun or pronoun. This is also the case if a short phrase or clause follows it.

In using for comparisons, “different from” is used when the two subjects of comparison have a parallel construction or the same grammatical structure.

“Different than” is used in same way as “different from.” The distinction between the two is that “different than” is used as the nonstandard way to introduce a phrase or a full clause. It is acceptable, but it is considered as a colloquial version of “different from.”

As a method of comparison, “different than” is acceptable to use when the clause it introduces is an elliptical clause – a kind of clause where some words have been left out but the idea or message is still understood.

On the other hand, “different to” is the standard British version of “different from.” It is common and used informally.


1.“Difference” and “different” are closely related to each other – their meanings overlap, and both come from the same root word.
2.The terms do not belong to the same part of speech. “Difference” is a noun, while “different” is an adjective.
3.“Different,” as an adjective, needs a noun to modify.
4.“Difference” can also mean things that are not related to grammar, especially in mathematics, medicine, and heraldry.
5.“Different” can have many forms: “different from,” “different than,” and “different to.” “Different than” and “different from” are used in American English, while “different to” is used in British English.
6.“Different from” is the standard phrase for use in comparison and introduction of clauses, while “different than” is the colloquial form of the former.
7.“Different from” introduces a full clause that starts with a conjunction. It also used to prevent wordiness. Conversely, “different than” introduces an elliptical clause.

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