Talking about Difference in English
Hi English learners! Welcome to a new lesson. We are going to learn some new vocabulary and expressions we need for talking about differences in English.
We can talk about differences by using comparative adjectives or adverbs:
- After she became a vegetarian, Tara felt healthier and got slimmer.
- When they told the boy to be quiet, he started shouting even more loudly.
We can add a modifier to the adjective or adverb to intensify its meaning and make it more precise.
- The football team played much better than last week.
- It’s a bit colder than yesterday.
- This novel is not quite as interesting as that one.
- You write way better than you did last year.
We can also use different expressions to talk about differences. Here is the list:
- Same difference
- A world apart
- A welcome change
- Make a difference
- It makes no difference
- And now something completely different
- As different as chalk and cheese
- Compare apples and oranges
- Far cry
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We use the phrases to say that we believe some things are essentially similar or the same despite their differences.
- “We can go on holiday to Spain or to France.” “The same difference. It’ll cost the same.”
- “Why did you bring me vanilla ice cream? I ordered a chocolate one.” “Vanilla, chocolate – same difference.”
A world apart
If we say that two people or things are a world apart, we mean that they are completely different.
- Celia and I used to be into the same things back in school but we are now worlds apart. She’s a politician and I am a basketball coach.
- We can’t sell these two products at the same price. Their qualities and quantities are a world apart.
A welcome change
If we say that something is a welcome change, it is a long-desired change.
- Fiona’s holiday was a welcome change as she was exhausted.
- Beautiful nature and quiet country life were a welcome change for Peter after living in the crowded and bustling city.
Make a difference
If you make a difference, then you have a significant influence on somebody or something.
- When Sean was young he tried to make a difference in the world by taking part in students’ demonstrations.
- Do you think it would make a difference if you lived on a small island rather than in a big country?
It makes no difference
In a similar context, we can say that something makes no difference, meaning that nothing will change the situation if the circumstances change.
- “Shall we set off at 5 or 6 o’clock?” “It makes no difference to me. You decide.”
- The colour of the curtains will make no difference to this room.
And now something completely different
The quote was originally used in the comedy series Monthy Python’s Flying Circus. You can use it when you want to change the subject and announce something different.
- It was a nice holiday. And now something completely different – we’re getting back to work tomorrow morning.
- Radio programme: “And now something completely different – Manchester United scored a goal against Manchester City.”
As different as chalk and cheese
If two people or things are as different as chalk and cheese, they are completely different.
- Although they were brothers, they were as different as chalk and cheese.
- Darren was sure that he would never get along with his new colleague because they were as different as chalk and cheese.
Compare apples and oranges
If we compare apples and oranges, we talk about two totally different things.
- Comparing me to your mother is like comparing apples and oranges.
- Being a teacher and being an engineer are two different things. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.
If something is a far cry from something it is very different from it.
- Your new house is a far cry from your old one. It’s much bigger and more beautiful.
- They made a lot of money this year which is a far cry from the loss they had last year.
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