Compare vs Differentiate

  • Jonegy

    Senior Member
    UK - English
    If you 'compare' you are looking at the similarities -- 'diferentiate' -- looking at the diferences.

    Funny old thing - 'Logic' ;-)
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    To differentiate can also mean to create, highlight, or point out key differences or advantages, as a producer would do in his production design, or a seller would do in his promotional materials.
    "Several high-performing companies differentiate themselves by combining two or more success factors..."
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    to compare = to find similarities

    to diffentiate = to distinguish

    I compared France and Spain and found that they were very much alike.

    It is sad that some cannot differentiate Spain and France on a map.
     

    Nick

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    elroy said:
    It is sad that some cannot differentiate Spain and France on a map.
    People use differentiate without "between"?

    To me, this sentence is wrong. You would have to say something like There are people who cannot differentiate between France and Spain on a map.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Nick said:
    People use differentiate without "between"?

    To me, this sentence is wrong. You would have to say something like There are people who cannot differentiate between France and Spain on a map.
    According to dictionary.com, "differentiate" can be transitive. One of the definitions given is the following:

    To perceive or show the difference in or between; discriminate.
    So the "between" is "included," so to speak.

    Nevertheless, I agree that your construction sounds smoother.
     

    Kräuter_Fee

    Senior Member
    Portuguese & Spanish
    To compare does not only mean to find similarities, from my point of view when you compare two things you are trying to see in which aspects they're similar and in which they differ.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Kräuter_Fee said:
    To compare does not only mean to find similarities, from my point of view when you compare two things you are trying to see in which aspects they're similar and in which they differ.
    That would be "to compare and contrast."
     
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