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  1. #1
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Smile contest vs. competition

    Hello! Could someone tell me the difference between 'contest' and 'competition'? Thanks in advance!

    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press

    contest (COMPETITION) noun [C]
    a competition to do better than other people, usually in which prizes are given:
    a dance/sports contest
    She's won a lot of beauty contests.

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: contest vs. competition

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hello! Could someone tell me the difference between 'contest' and 'competition'? Thanks in advance!

    Cambridge Dictionaries Online - Cambridge University Press
    As your research shows, it's hard to define one without using the other. And sometimes they are interchangeable. The main differences (that I can see) are:
    • grammatical variation
    • collocation


    Grammatical variation: You can change the stress on "contest" to make it into a verb (/kən'test/). You can use "competition" as an abstract noun. "Contest" usually refers to a single event (whereas a "competition" can last all season.

    Collocation: Some word-pairs just go together: 'beauty contest', 'spying for the competition', 'no contest' [=the winner is effortlessly/easily better than the rest of the field]... Browse in that dictionary for other examples, or use BNC. Here's a couple of snippets:

    WORD 1 (W1): CONTEST (0.18)
    WORD W1 W2 W1/W2 SCORE
    1 LEADERSHIP 66 0 132.0 734.4
    2 SONG 35 0 70.0 389.4
    3 PRESIDENTIAL 13 0 26.0 144.7
    4 ELECTIONS 7 0 14.0 77.9
    5 INVESTITURE 6 0 12.0 66.8
    6 REPUBLICAN 6 0 12.0 66.8
    7 STOPPED 5 0 10.0 55.6
    8 NOMINATION 5 0 10.0 55.6
    9 ONE-SIDED 5 0 10.0 55.6
    10 GUBERNATORIAL 5 0 10.0 55.6
    WORD 2 (W2): COMPETITION (5.56)
    WORD W2 W1 W2/W1 SCORE
    1 POLICY 210 0 420.0 75.5
    2 PERFECT 73 0 146.0 26.2
    3 INCREASED 65 0 130.0 23.4
    4 FOREIGN 55 0 110.0 19.8
    5 INTENSE 52 0 104.0 18.7
    6 EC 51 0 102.0 18.3
    7 UNFAIR 50 0 100.0 18.0
    8 PRICE 47 0 94.0 16.9
    9 STRONG 46 0 92.0 16.5
    10 EUROPEAN 44 0 88.0 15.8
    More here: [Davies/BYU] BYU-BNC: British National Corpus

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 12-Aug-2008 at 14:12. Reason: Larify; add example

  3. #3
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Smile Re: contest vs. competition

    Hello BobK,

    Thank you for your answer. I don't understand what the two quotes mean. Could you please illustrate?

    WORD 1 (W1): CONTEST (0.18)
    WORD W1 W2 W1/W2 SCORE
    1 LEADERSHIP 66 0 132.0 734.4
    2 SONG 35 0 70.0 389.4
    Q1: What do LEADERSHIP and SONG refer to?

    Q2: What do the number mean, eg. 66 0 132.0 734.4?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: contest vs. competition

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hello BobK,

    Thank you for your answer. I don't understand what the two quotes mean. Could you please illustrate?



    Q1: What do LEADERSHIP and SONG refer to?

    Q2: What do the number mean, eg. 66 0 132.0 734.4?

    Thanks!
    The two quotes are the results of searches of the British National Corpus. It's a very powerful tool, and produces loads of statistics that needn't concern the likes of us (="people like you and me"). If I had a day or two to spare I'd read all the help and find out what all the numbers mean!

    Q1 - the first quote shows the ten words that collocate most often in the BNC with "contest". The fourth one shows the verbal use of "contest" - 'candidates con[']test elections". The second quote shows the ten words that collocate most often with "competition". The first one took a bit of thought. The word "policy" is so common because there has been much discussion in the press and other media about how competition should be handled in the European Community (number 6 - "EC").

    Q2 - As I explained, it doesn't really matter. If I had thought about it I'd have deleted them. It was just quicker/easier to copy the whole lot.

    b

  5. #5
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    Smile Re: contest vs. competition

    Hello BobK, thank you for your answer again.

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