Phrases With Different Meaning

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June 14, 2018
Useful Sentences & Gap Fillers
June 25, 2018

Phrases With Different Meaning

Do the following pairs of expressions have the same or different meaning?

  • A great advantage/ the main advantage
  • Banned/ Prohibited
  • Make children watch violent images/ Let children watch violent images
  • The government is to blame/ the government is responsible
  • However/ Nevertheless
  • At the moment/ at that moment
  • However/ On the other hand
  • At first/ First of all
  • At last/ lastly
  • The points below/ the following points
  • Looking at…/ Moving on to…
  • Pros/ Advantages
  • Cons/ Disadvantages
  • Compared with these two locations/ comparing these two locations
  • In the town centre/ at the centre of town
  • Locates/ is located

Phrases with different meanings followed by explanations :

  • A great advantage/ The main advantage – Different
    – “The main advantage” means the number one most important advantage whereas “A great advantage means a big advantage.”
  • Make children watch violent images/ Let children watch violent images. – Different
    – The former would mean forcing/ making children to watch violent images, whereas the latter displays students’ choice (or it gives them a liberty to watch as per their choice)
  • The government is to blame/ The government is responsible – Slightly different.
    Blame is when people point fingers or raise their voice against someone or something for not doing things as per their duty, however, the word responsible puts the responsibility on a particular body for something, like here, The government can be responsible for sorting something out even if it is not their fault.
  • However/ Nevertheless – Different
    – “Nevertheless” is more specific and means “even though that is true”.
    – “However” is used to show contrast
  • At the moment/ At that moment – Different
    At the moment means now. At that moment is mainly used when talking about some other time.
  • However/ On the other hand – Different
    – The latter is only used to weigh up the two sides of an argument or compare two things leading to a conclusion, so is much more specific than “however” or “in contrast” and is often used wrongly. (‘On one hand’ should be used in the first sentence before using ‘on the other hand’)
  • At first/ First of all – Different
    At first means that things later changed and so is often used with phrases like “but later…” (e.g. At first we didn’t like each other, but later we became best friends.)- First of all is used to highlight the foremost or important point or the first thing which caught your eyes.
  • At last/ Lastly – Different
    At last means after a long wait (e.g. I found his house at last/ finally)
    Lastly is to talk about the very last point.
  • The points below/ The following points – Slightly Different
    – The latter means that the points come straight after, whereas the former just means they are somewhere below.
  • Looking at…/ Moving on to… Slightly different
    – The latter can’t be used for the first topic, just for changing topics, whereas the former can be used for the first topic and the other as well.
  • Pros/ Advantages – Different
    Pros and cons” is a fixed expression that can’t be split up, so only ‘pros’ cannot be used.
    Cons/ Disadvantages – Different
    .
    – Same as pros mentioned above.
  • Compared with these two locations/ Comparing these two locations – Different
    The former compares the two locations to some other, whereas the latter shows comparison between the two locations mentioned.
  • In the town centre/ At the centre of town – Different
    In the town centre is an area and at the centre of town is a particular point.
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