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They mean roughly the same. "Fine" also means that you are agreeing but not really agreeing.

In the following situations, I think "fine" sounds better ... but I'm not a native English speaker, so I'm not very sure:

I ended up staying at home, which was fine for me.

And now that he'd accomplished that feat, everything would be fine.

I have to leave now, but I'm sure you'll be fine.

Is "fine" better in these examples? Why or why not?

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    Fine in this context means satisfactory, perfectly all right, but as a reply to someone making a suggestion or announcing their plans it can be used sarcastically. Jan 13 at 17:01
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    The question itself is basically a matter of opinion. But my opinion of this context is that Things are okay, but I wouldn't go so far as to say everything is fine could be a perfectly reasonable thing to say (the situation is at least tolerable, but it's far from good). Contrariwise, I don't think I could ever accept Things are fine, but I wouldn't go so far as to say everything is okay. Jan 13 at 17:37
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In the contexts you quote, "fine" has the same sort of meaning as "okay".

However, there is a common and idiomatic meaning of "fine" which is the subject of a whole slew of jokes about communications between men and women:

"I'm going to have a night out with the lads, get absolutely bladdered, and come roaring home at 2 in the morning and probably puke up all over the bed."

"Fine!"

One can of course tell by the tone of voice that it does not mean, "okay", it means, "I have given up trying to communicate my disapproval of your appalling behaviour, I can't stop you doing what you want, and whether I am still living here when you return is doubtful."

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  • When did "OK" become "okay"? Jan 13 at 19:02
  • @MichaelHarvey When it crossed the pond, probably. Jan 15 at 11:38

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