Student Area|Teacher Area

Key words in university study: Similarity and difference

  • Home
  • CILL
  • EAP
  • Key words in university study: Similarity and difference


This page aims to widen your vocabulary and give you practice in discussing similarities and differences.


In your assignments you will often need to discuss similarities and differences. To widen the range of words you use to express these concepts and to improve the style of your writing, you will need to go beyond basic terms such as like, similar, different and comparative adjective phrases like bigger than. The following table contains some of the most common words in this area. Look up the meanings of the words that you do not know.


Similarity / Equivalence

Difference / Inequality







 accord (with)

conform (to)

correspond (to)


equate (to/with)










analogous (to)

comparable (to)

consistent (with)

equivalent (to)

identical (to)



contrast (with)

deviate (from)

differ (from)

differentiate diverge (from)



 discrepancy disparity





Fill in the blanks with a word from the table above. Click the [?] button to get a hint. If you need more help click the 'Hint' button at the bottom of the page. When you have finished check your answers.

1. The police discovered a  between what the two witnesses said had happened.
2. Hong Kong  from mainland China in many ways.
3. Some people find it difficult to  between right and wrong.
4. In many developed countries there is a huge  between the rich and poor.
5. Australia and New Zealand are  in many ways.
6. Like their  in Singapore,  investors in Hong Kong lost money during the economic downturn.
7. In 20 years it is predicted that Shanghai will have achieved economic with Hong Kong.
8. In many parts of the world  of the sexes is just a distant dream.
9. Please ensure that you  to the guidelines when preparing your submission.
10. The findings of my experiment generally  to those of Chan (2001), although one of the readings is significantly different.
11. Each department in the university has its own  identity.
12. The experience of teaching kindergarten students is in a sense  to baby sitting.
13. The range of opinions was so utterly   that he found it hard to find a compromise.


Last updated on: Monday, March 26, 2012