Gather and Congregagte

tedmc

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A group of friends gather/congregate at the hall for a dinner party.

Is there any difference between using the two words or can the words be used interchangeably?
I thought that "congregate" is used for bigger, more formal gatherings like those in a church.
 
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tedmc

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Why is it not appropriate?
In what context is "congregate" used?
 

tedmc

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I can't see the difference after going through the examples.
Can I have the answers to my two questions above, please?
 
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Rover_KE

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You answered both your questions yourself in your OP:

'... "congregate" is used for bigger, more formal gatherings like those in a church.'
 
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