Let's say a kid is pulling 2 car toys with each of her hands holding each string attaching to each car toy as the below picture

enter image description here

He may "twist / tangle / entangle the 2 strings".

are they roughly the same if we say: "Please don't twist / tangle / entangle the 2 strings"?

twist[transitive] twist something (into something) to turn or wind strings, etc. together to make something longer or thicker

They had twisted the sheets into a rope and escaped by climbing down it.

tangle (something) up to twist something into an untidy mass; to become twisted in this way

She had tangled up the sheets on the bed as she lay tossing and turning.

entangle: ​to make somebody/something become caught or twisted in something

be/become entangled (in/with something) The bird had become entangled in the wire netting.

1 Answer 1


Not quite- you can twist strings neatly. For instance, rope is made up of many threads twisted in a simple pattern. Tangled strings, however, must not have a pattern to them; they are always messy. So all tangled strings are twisted, but not all twisted strings are tangled.

Also, although one string could be said to be entangled in another, you would usually say both are "tangled together", and any object that is not a string that gets caught in them would be entangled.

  • 1
    But, when speaking to a small child, you could equally say "Don't let the strings get twisted!" or "tangled". Feb 10, 2020 at 10:14

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