Copy vs Duplicate
The difference between copy and duplicate mainly lies in what each word implies. The words copy and duplicate are often confused as two different words that give the same meaning. Their usage is also confused. However, it is proper to say that they are two different words that convey two different meanings and hence, their usage also differs. This is true as we do not use the word copy and duplicate in the same context. The word copy is often used in the sense of ‘reproduction.’ On the other hand, the word duplicate is often used in the sense of ‘an identical copy.’ This is the main difference between the two words. In fact, all the difference between copy and duplicate comes from these meanings.
What is a Copy?
The word copy is often used in the sense of ‘reproduction.’ This means copy is the reproduced result of an original. However, you should remember that we can make a copy from another copy as well. Take a look at the two sentences given below.
Robert asked his assistant to copy the letter in a separate sheet of paper.
Francis copied the notes in his diary.
In both the sentences, the word copy is used in the sense of ‘reproduce.’ So, as a result, the first sentence can be rewritten as ‘Robert asked his assistant to reproduce the letter in a separate sheet of paper.’ In the same manner, the second sentence can be rewritten as ‘Francis reproduced the notes in his diary.’ It is interesting to note that the word copy is used both as a verb and also as a noun.
When it comes to making copies, a person can make copies from the original as well as from another copy. For example, think about that letter in the first example. Now, Robert has asked to make a copy. This may be copied from the original. But, later, once the original letter is sent, Roberts needs another copy of the same letter. As he already has a copy of the same letter, though the original is no longer with him, he has no problem in creating a second copy. Also, a copy necessarily does not have to look exactly like the original. For example, think that there is poem in the newspaper that you like. You need a copy of that. So, you take a pen and a piece of paper and write it down. This is also a copy though it does not look exactly the same as the original. Also, the word copy is mostly used with documents, paintings, etc.
What is a Duplicate?
The word duplicate is often used in the sense of ‘an identical copy.’ To make a duplicate, you usually need the original. Take a look at the sentences given below.
He duplicated the key that evening.
Angela considered her friend as a duplicate of her sister.
In both the sentences, the word duplicate is used in the sense of ‘an identical copy.’ So, as a result, the meaning of the first sentence would be ‘he made an identical copy of the key that evening.’ The meaning of the second sentence would be ‘Angela considered her friend as an identical copy of her sister.’ You have to remember that the word duplicate is used primarily as a noun and very occasionally as a verb.
Unlike a copy, usually to make a duplicate, you need the original. That is because a duplicate is an identical copy or an exact reproduction of the original. For example, think about a key. You need another key from the same. So, you make a key that is exactly similar to the original. That key is known as a duplicate key; not a copy. This is because the duplicate is an exact copy in appearance as well as the function of the original.
What is the difference between Copy and Duplicate?
• Copy means reproduction.
• Duplicate means an identical copy.
• The word copy is used with regard to documents, paintings, and such.
• The word duplicate is used mainly with regard to objects.
• Parts of Speech:
• The word copy is used as a noun as well as a verb.
• The word duplicate is used primarily as a noun and very occasionally as a verb.
• You can create a copy of something using the original or another copy.
• To make a duplicate of something you generally need the original.
• A copy does not necessarily have to be exactly the same in appearance to the original.
• A duplicate looks exactly like the original.
- Stack of copy paper by Jonathan Joseph Bondhus (CC BY-SA 3.0)
- Keychain by TheEgyptian (CC BY-SA 3.0)