faire la différence

Lolinette

New Member
France
How would you say "faire la différence" in English please, by using the word " to draw" (I have to employ it in a exercise)?

Thanks to you.
Lolinette.
 
  • bloomiegirl

    Senior Member
    US English
    Is there a complete French sentence for context?:confused:
    And/or what have you got for the English, including all the required parts?
     

    Lolinette

    New Member
    France
    The sentence is:
    C'est difficile de faire la différence entre la lecture des journaux à but récréatif et la lecture des journaux à but instructif.

    Cya.
     

    geostan

    Senior Member
    English Canada
    The example is a strange one to use with "to draw." I suppose the suggestion of "draw a distinction between" is as good as any. But personally, I would never use draw in an example like that.

    Cheers!
     

    bloomiegirl

    Senior Member
    US English
    How about: It's difficult to draw the line between reading newspapers for pleasure and reading newspapers for knowledge???

    Does this work better than to draw a distinction between? Same idea, but perhaps semantically more popular?;)

    P.S. to Geostan and Verbivore: As I understand it, Lolinette is required to use the verb to draw in the English sentence. Otherwise, I too would have suggested distinguish.;)
     

    david314

    Senior Member
    American English
    How about: It's difficult to draw the line between reading newspapers for pleasure and reading newspapers for knowledge???

    Does this work better than to draw a distinction between? Same idea, but perhaps semantically more popular? ;)
    In my opinion, it does not -and I would stick with: to draw/make a distinction between x & y :)
     
    Last edited:

    hamlet

    Senior Member
    Français (FR)
    Can you make a difference between two things (i.e. "It is important to make a difference (=distinguish) between shame and guilt.")
     

    moustic

    Senior Member
    British English
    Can you make a difference between two things (i.e. "It is important to make a difference (=distinguish) between shame and guilt.")
    Can you give us your sentence in French, please?

    The expression "make a difference" exists in English with the meaning "changer qqch" -> It doesn't make any difference. = Ça ne change rien.
     

    hamlet

    Senior Member
    Français (FR)
    I don't mean "make a difference" in that sense, but as a synonym to "make a distinction" or "to differentiate". I didn't have any specific French sentence in mind.
     

    moustic

    Senior Member
    British English
    I wouldn't use "make a difference" with the meaning "make a distinction".
    Maybe:
    It's important to point out (or even emphasize / highlight) the difference between X and Y.
     

    hamlet

    Senior Member
    Français (FR)
    The American Heritage Dictionary has this entry:

    make a difference
    1. Distinguish or discriminate. This phrase appears in the Bible (Leviticus 11:47): "To make a difference between the unclean and the clean." [Late 1500s]

    Should it be regarded as a one-off?
     
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