I thought Different between is wrong because different does not explain difference (That's just my knowledge), but sometimes, I saw used Different between. Isn't it wrong? If so, why?

I have tried to read this, but I have not read this well.

2 Answers 2


The words 'different' and 'difference' both show some qualities that are not the same or alike.

The difference (for want of a better word) between the two is the part of speech they represent.

'different' is an adjective, and is used to modify a noun. For example.

  • The two brothers could not have been more different. (modifies 'brothers')
  • We need to try an entirely different approach. (modifies 'approach')
  • They met with each other on several different occasions. (modifies 'occasions')

The word 'difference' on the other hand, is a noun, and is used to specify the extent or quality of dissimilarity or contrasts between two things, situations, or entities.

  • She knows the difference between right and wrong.
  • There's no difference between the two houses. They look exactly the same.
  • There's a big difference in price.

In other words, 'difference' tries to bring about a comparison between two or more items, whereas 'different' is usually a word of certainty where we just declare a thing to be unmatched to something else.

So yes, 'different between' to make a comparison would be incorrect. However, a sentence along the lines of:

Something is different between you two today.

would be correct, because 'different' modifies 'something', rather than trying to make a comparison between the two people in the sentence.


For difference, the Oxford dictionary defines two relevant meanings:

A point or way in which people or things are dissimilar - property
there are differences between men and women

[mass noun] The state or condition of being dissimilar - state
Judging by my experience of American culinary habits, they will notice no difference from home cooking.

For different, The Oxford Dictionary the following definition:

Not the same as another or each other; unlike in nature, form, or quality - state
the car's different from anything else on the market


When we talk about two things being the same or not the same, this is a state: we can do this with either difference or different, together with the prepositions from, to or than. In the same way, we would say

America is separate from Europe - state


When we talk about a property- the quality or extent of the difference between two things, we can only use difference, together with the preposition between. In the same way, we would say

There is 3000 miles between America and Europe - property

Different between is therefore not generally valid.

Note that it is possible to construct a sentence containing difference between, for example when between defines a range that qualifies when some other thing was different.

The situation was different between 1939 and 1944.

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