differ or differentiate


Hi everyone,

What is your choice for this question:
"We need to think of some ways we can ..... ourselves from the competition."
a. differ
b. differentiate

I googled the phrase "differ ourselves from the competition", just I only see the result for "differentiate". I'm confused, as "differentiate = distinguish: recognize the differences between 2 things/people" where as "differ from=be different from". In this case, I think they mean "we want to be different from the competition"

What do you think about this?

Thanks for your support.
  • pinky88

    Hi Thomas,

    I think "ourselves" is just a reflexive pronoun, not an Object. So, "differ" as an intransitive verb is ok here.
    Correct me if I misunderstood anything.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    A reflexive pronoun is an object, so intransitive 'differ' can't take it. We can make ourselves different (differentiate ourselves), and we can differ from others, but we can't :cross:differ ourselves.
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