file and folder

  • nzseries1

    Senior Member
    New Zealand - English
    A file is one specific thing, and a folder is what you would keep the files in.

    Example 1: A file may be a piece of paper, and a folder would be what you keep several of these files in. The exception is: If all the files in the folder are regarding the same thing, you might use the term "file" to refer to the entire folder.

    Example 2: In computers, a file is one particular document or picture or spreadsheet or unit, and a folder contains many of these files.
     

    Trinibeens

    Senior Member
    NYC
    U.S. English
    A file is one specific thing, and a folder is what you would keep the files in.

    Example 1: A file may be a piece of paper, and a folder would be what you keep several of these files in. The exception is: If all the files in the folder are regarding the same thing, you might use the term "file" to refer to the entire folder.

    Example 2: In computers, a file is one particular document or picture or spreadsheet or unit, and a folder contains many of these files.
    I totally agree with your example # 2.

    However, regarding example # 1, perhaps our terminology in AE is different from BE. In the U.S., a piece of paper is a "document", documents relating to each other in a similar way make up a "file". The documents in a file might be physically stored together in a "folder", or "file folder".
     

    nzseries1

    Senior Member
    New Zealand - English
    I totally agree with your example # 2.

    However, regarding example # 1, perhaps our terminology in AE is different from BE. In the U.S., a piece of paper is a "document", documents relating to each other in a similar way make up a "file". The documents in a file might be physically stored together in a "folder", or "file folder".
    I think this is what I was trying to say, but you've explained it a lot better :)
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    I think the essential difference is that a folder is a container (which may or may not have contents) and a file is a collection of documents, which may include a container.

    However, in terms of items of stationery (in the UK) the words "file" and "folder" are used almost interchangeably to mean a container or cover for documents made of card or plastic. They may be in the form of a binder (the papers are bound to the file by a fastener) or document wallet (papers are kept loose inside a pocket).

    A file in the abstract sense is a collection of documents and records on a certain subject or dealing with the affairs of a person. etc. It can be a single physical file or a collection of documentary sources including computer records. I would never call a single piece of unbound paper a file, although a file might contain a single piece of paper, if you see the distinction.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top