Main Difference – Compare vs Contrast
Compare and contrast are two words that we often use together. You might have noticed this phrase ‘compare and contrast’ in essay topics and other open questions. But do you know the difference between compare and contrast? Compare means to examine the character or qualities of something in order to discover similarities or differences. Contrast means to examine the character or qualities of something in order to discover the differences. Therefore, the main difference between compare and contrast is that compare looks at both similarities and differences whereas contrast only looks at the differences.
This article covers,
1. What Does Compare Mean? – Meaning, Features and Usage
2. What Does Contrast Mean? – Meaning, Features and Usage
3. Difference Between Compare and Contrast
What Does Compare Mean
Compare means to examine the character or qualities of something, especially in order to discover similarities or differences. So, when you compare two things, you are looking at both similarities and differences, not just similarities.
However, when we compare something to another thing, we are referring to the similarities of that thing. For example, if you are comparing a beautiful girl to a flower, you are looking at the similarities between the two of them. We also use the term compare when we are looking at the similarities between two dissimilar things.
The following examples will help you to understand the meaning and usage of compare more clearly.
Compare the styles of these two authors.
I compared several cars before choosing this.
Her voice has been compared to Celine Dion’s.
The aim of this survey is to compare the prices in different regions.
What Does Contrast Mean
Contrast only looks at the differences between two things. The verb contrast can mean to compare two things in order to emphasize the differences. Thus, the main aim of contrasting two things is to finding out the differences between them.
Contrast is a both noun and verb. Look at the following sentences in order to understand the meaning and usage of contrast.
We contrasted the two characters and found some subtle differences.
People contrasted her with her mother.
They were asked to compare and contrast the characters of Ron and Hermione.
Compare and contrast Romantic music and Classical music.
The teacher asked them to contrast the middle ages and the renaissance.
However, the phrase ‘compare and contrast’ which is often used in the essay-type question is a set expression. Some teachers would say that compare refers to similarities and contrast refers to differences. However, this phrase is similar to compare.
Difference Between Compare and Contrast
Similarities and Differences
Compare refers to both similarities and differences.
Contrast only refers to similarities.
Compare is a verb.
Contrast is a noun and a verb.
Compare is often used with two different things.
Contrast is often used with two similar things.
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