“Include” vs. “Contain”: What’s the Difference?

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The difference between “include” and “contain”

  • Include has a wider scope - it implies the addition of something that could exist independently, while contain suggests that something is enclosed or imprisoned within a system.
  • Include suggests a collaborative effort where objects are brought together, but contain suggests singular control over the object.
  • Include is often used to demonstrate the presence of a desired item, while contain can indicate that something is part of an undesirable package.
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What is the definition of “include” and “contain”?

  • To include means to involve the presence or participation of something or someone in a group or action.
  • It can also mean to contain as part of a whole, complete entity or set.
  • Adding or counting something to a list or body of items is also a way of including it.
  • Contain means to hold or have something within or under a surface, vessel, or body.
  • It can also refer to the act of keeping something or someone within limits or under control.
  • In computing, contain refers to creating a secure and isolated environment for running applications.

Which is the more popular variant on the Internet?

“Include” is the more popular variant on the web.
More popular
5,740,000,000 results on the web
  1. The package should include all the necessary parts and tools for assembly.
  2. The manuscript should include a bibliography section to acknowledge all references used.
  3. We need to include more vegetables in our diet to maintain a balanced nutrition.
2,130,000,000 results on the web
  1. The box contained a variety of chocolates and candies.
  2. The report contained a summary of findings and recommendations for improvement.
  3. The recipe book contained instructions for making different desserts and baked goods.
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