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# "difference between" Vs "Differences in"

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Intern
Joined: 29 Jun 2012
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GMAT Date: 10-18-2012
"difference between" Vs "Differences in" [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2012, 00:42
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hi, I am confused in the following Sentences.Please Comment:

1. There is a difference between what you can do and what I can do.
2. There are differences between what you and I can do.
3. There are differences in what you and I can do.

Please explain which of the following is/are correct/ wrong and Why??

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Manhattan Prep Instructor
Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 798

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Re: "difference between" Vs "Differences in" [#permalink]

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24 Sep 2012, 19:33
AmitArora456 wrote:
hi, I am confused in the following Sentences.Please Comment:

1. There is a difference between what you can do and what I can do.
2. There are differences between what you and I can do.
3. There are differences in what you and I can do.

Please explain which of the following is/are correct/ wrong and Why??

Welcome to idioms! [Thankfully the GMAT is limiting the number of idiom based questions].

1 - Correct
2 - Incorrect
3 - Correct

With idioms there isn't much rationale. They are correct because that is how they are conventionally stated. My advice on idioms is to not worry about such small differences like the examples here. Place more focus on seeing meaning differences resulting from word choice.

1) I mistook you for my brother.
2) I mistook you to my brother.

The first sentence uses the correct idiom form "mistook for" and the meaning is clear. The second example uses an incorrect idiom "mistook to" and the meaning is strangely altered to mean that somehow I took you to the wrong location (you didn't want to go to my brother)!

Hope that helps.

KW
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Kyle Widdison | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | Utah

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Kudos [?]: 831 [0], given: 5

Manager
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Re: "difference between" Vs "Differences in" [#permalink]

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26 Feb 2017, 11:00
KyleWiddison wrote:
AmitArora456 wrote:
hi, I am confused in the following Sentences.Please Comment:

1. There is a difference between what you can do and what I can do.
2. There are differences between what you and I can do.
3. There are differences in what you and I can do.

Please explain which of the following is/are correct/ wrong and Why??

Welcome to idioms! [Thankfully the GMAT is limiting the number of idiom based questions].

1 - Correct
2 - Incorrect
3 - Correct

With idioms there isn't much rationale. They are correct because that is how they are conventionally stated. My advice on idioms is to not worry about such small differences like the examples here. Place more focus on seeing meaning differences resulting from word choice.

1) I mistook you for my brother.
2) I mistook you to my brother.

The first sentence uses the correct idiom form "mistook for" and the meaning is clear. The second example uses an incorrect idiom "mistook to" and the meaning is strangely altered to mean that somehow I took you to the wrong location (you didn't want to go to my brother)!

Hope that helps.

KW

Ok and where is the difference in meaning between the second and the third sentence of the original question ?

Thanks !

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 100

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Re: "difference between" Vs "Differences in" [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2017, 11:21
asdfghjklasdfghj wrote:
KyleWiddison wrote:
AmitArora456 wrote:
hi, I am confused in the following Sentences.Please Comment:

1. There is a difference between what you can do and what I can do.
2. There are differences between what you and I can do.
3. There are differences in what you and I can do.

Please explain which of the following is/are correct/ wrong and Why??

Welcome to idioms! [Thankfully the GMAT is limiting the number of idiom based questions].

1 - Correct
2 - Incorrect
3 - Correct

With idioms there isn't much rationale. They are correct because that is how they are conventionally stated. My advice on idioms is to not worry about such small differences like the examples here. Place more focus on seeing meaning differences resulting from word choice.

1) I mistook you for my brother.
2) I mistook you to my brother.

The first sentence uses the correct idiom form "mistook for" and the meaning is clear. The second example uses an incorrect idiom "mistook to" and the meaning is strangely altered to mean that somehow I took you to the wrong location (you didn't want to go to my brother)!

Hope that helps.

KW

Ok and where is the difference in meaning between the second and the third sentence of the original question ?

Thanks !

There's not much use in worrying about the meaning, since the second one is just grammatically incorrect. Specifically, it's incorrect due to parallelism. 'Between...and' is a closed marker. When you see a closed marker, you check for parallelism between the two elements right after the two parts of the marker:

There are differences between what you and I can do.

Since 'what you' and 'I can do' don't match, there's bad parallelism and the sentence is incorrect.

In the first example, the two elements do match:

There is a difference between what you can do and what I can do.

'what you can do' and 'what I can do' are grammatically alike, so it's good.
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Re: "difference between" Vs "Differences in"   [#permalink] 07 Mar 2017, 11:21
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