As opposed to, In contrast

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sam980

Member
farsi
Hi everyone,

Can I use "as opposed to" and "in contrast" interchangeably? Do they have different meaning?

As opposed to last year, the sale was good this year.
In contrast to last year, the sale was good this year.

Thank you,
 
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    For your sentence, 'in contrast to' works better. I use it to contrast ideas, propositions and situations.

    I think I use 'as opposed to' to contrast more specific things such as words, or phrases or specific groups.

    Here are some examples of as opposed to from Oxford Dictionaries:
    • Sometimes such optimism leads you to see the world as you wish it were as opposed to how it really is.
    • The style now is more urban, more freestyle as opposed to obviously choreographed.
    • Wenger thinks deeply about how to give his players what they need, as opposed to what they want.
    I think 'in contrast to' will work in these examples. But it doesn't work the other way round: not all instances of 'in contrast to' can be substituted with 'as opposed to'.
     

    sam980

    Member
    farsi
    I think in your examples I can somehow replace "as opposed to" with "instead of". Am I right?
    Wenger thinks deeply about how to give his players what they need, instead of giving them what they want.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    There is a difference of meaning for me, Sam. Instead of in that sentence means someone did something, and chose not to do something else. As opposed to focusses on the phrasing 'what they need' not 'what they want'. I think as opposed to​ is typically used to clarify phrasing and the meaning behind the phrasing.
     
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