Are these terms equivalent:

  • "pros and cons"
  • "advantages and disadvantages"

If no, what's the difference?


Yes, the two terms imply the same. 'Pros and cons' comes from Latin pro et contra meaning 'for and against'. It actually means 'the positive and negative aspects of an argument'.

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  • I would add that "advantages and disadvantages" is probably more formal that "pros and cons". – Sydney Dec 6 '17 at 21:24

I would say that they mean more or less the same thing and can be basically used interchangeably. Take a look at these two examples that will make it all clear for you:

What are the pros and cons of switching from Windows to Linux? The pros are that Linux is a high-quality operating system and it's completely free. The cons are that if something goes wrong, you are pretty much on your own because, since Linux is free, Linux systems don't tend to have good tech support like Windows or Mac operating systems do.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of switching from Windows to Linux? The advantages are that almost all Linux software is free and yet it's of outstanding quality. The disadvantage is that Linux-based systems lack good tech support.

As you can see, they're completely equivalent in use. Moreover, this dictionary even defines the expression pros and cons as the advantages and disadvantages of something.

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