1. BassFranky Senior Member

    A question for native english speakers :

    I know "hide" and "conceal" both mean "cacher"
    but I'd like to know if there can be any difference, and are there cases where you would use one rather than the other
    ... if yes why ?

  2. XPditif Senior Member

    Planet Earth
    français (France)
    Hide is more cacher, refering to a person (hide&seek)(cache toi là);
    alors que conceal est plus dissimuler, dans le sens de dissimuler un objet, une information, cacher une blessure (derrière des lunettes de soleil)... pour mieux mentir si tu veux.
    Got it?
  3. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    I'm not sure I agree with this. You can hide any sort of object, e.g., a wallet, a book, anything. You can hide the truth. You can hide your feelings. I'm not sure I see much difference between the two. Perhaps someone else will disagree.
  4. BassFranky Senior Member

    mmmmmm interesting ...
    but would you say "I'm concealing (myself)" ?
  5. XPditif Senior Member

    Planet Earth
    français (France)
    Yes, but more like a ninja with camouflage rather than hidding behind a tree (subtle difference I agree).
    So I let you to Cobuild's apppreciation:

    conceal: 1. If you conceal something, you cover it or hide it carefully , so that it cannot be seen.
    2. If you conceal something such as a feeling or some info, you are careful not to let other people know about it.

    hide: 1. 2. if you hide somethin/yourself, you put it in a place where it cannot easily be seen or found.
    3. if you hide a feeling/info, you keep it a secret so that no one knows about it.

    So to me, the only difference seem to be a carefulness, a slickiness, a thouroughness not included in hiding.
  6. Chris' Spokesperson Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    You conceal something always with something else. If I conceal my wallet with a newspaper then the newspaper is concealing my wallet and my wallet is concealed by the newspaper. I could hide my wallet just by putting it out of sight but that's not necessarily concealed. To conceal it I would have to hide it from view from any angle.

    In short you could say that conceal means 'completely hidden from view' by something else.
  7. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    Perhaps sometimes there's a difference in your intentions. If you hide a book, it could be because you want to keep it to yourself. You don't want anyone else to have it. But in the expression "concealed weapon", your intention is not to keep someone else from having it, but to keep them from knowing that you have it to begin with. On the other hand, how many young lads have hidden certain types of magazines so that their dads won't know that they have them?
    At any rate, if a French person were to ask me what's the difference between "hide" and "conceal", I'm not sure I could give them a good answer.
  8. Chris' Spokesperson Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    Euh...a French person just did ask you! :p
  9. Novanas Senior Member

    English AE/Ireland
    Yeah, I know. This is just my way of saying I'm not sure I can help here. It's funny--when you really start thinking about your own language, you realize just how much and how little you know.
  10. lello84 New Member

    As "XPditif" wrote it up, conceal is a sort of hiding. Just read: "If you conceal something, you cover it or hide it carefully (...)"
  11. Alain23 New Member

    French - Brittany
    It's a subtle distinction, but conceal carries the implication that there's someone you are concealing it from, and hence the act is somewhat deliberate in nature. For instance:
    - The box was concealed beneath the rocks for centuries.
    - The box was hidden beneath the rocks for centuries.
    In the first, you understand that it was deliberately hidden, and perhaps required some searching to uncover.
    In the second, maybe it happened naturally, and one merely stumbled upon the artifact.

    You can use both conceal and hide either way, but this is a common connotation.

    (source : english.stackexchange.com, questions/21791/hide-vs-conceal)

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