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What is the difference between an example and an anology?

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parama9000 | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted April 5, 2013 at 12:15 PM via web

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What is the difference between an example and an anology?

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 5, 2013 at 1:26 PM (Answer #1)

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Analogies are comparisons. Examples are not comparisons. 

If we are talking about, say, why it is a good idea to have a savings account. I might attempt to prove the point through...

  • ...an example: Savings accounts allow you to put money away for the future, helping to prepare you for major purchases such as a car or a house. When you decide it's time to start shopping for a car, you will be glad that you started a savings account because you will have some money for a down payment. 
  • ...or an analogy: Starting and keeping a savings account is like what squirrels do to prepare for winter. Squirrels store nuts in hiding places because they understand that once winter comes they will need that food and will not be able to find fresh nuts in the wild, under the snow, etc. 

As we see here, an analogy attempts to elucidate a situation through comparison while an example seeks to support or expand on a point through direct logical extension from the premise/thesis. 

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