Progress vs Development

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What’s the difference between them?



straightforward growth in a certain aspect or task.


1. We've made good progress in her language learning journey.

2. Technology has been advancing at a rapid rate of progress.

3. Progress is impossible without change.



wholesome growth in several aspects.


1. The development of this new technology has been astonishing.

2. The government is investing heavily in the development of renewable energy sources.

3. There has been a lot of development in the neighborhood since I moved here.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference




1. Advancement

2. Improvement

3. Development

4. Step Forward

5. Headway

1. Regress

2. Retreat

3. Standstill

4. Reversal

5. Setback


1. Evolution

2. Expansion

3. Advancement

4. Proliferation

5. Implementation of changes

1. Decline

2. Deterioration

3. Destruction

4. Demolition

5. Regression

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Progress", "Development".

1. Progress is straightforward growth in a certain aspect or task, while development is wholesome growth in several aspects.

2. Pay attention to context. Progress is usually used to indicate a singular advancement, whereas development implies a holistic growth.

3. Make use of mnemonic phrases to remember the difference. For example, 'progress is a step forward' and 'development is a positive change'.

4. When in doubt, consider the use of synonyms to gain clarity. Progress might be thought of as progression or advance, while development could be considered growth, improvement, or evolution.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

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Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the 'progress' be used?

Progress can be used in situations where there is a certain aspect or task that is growing in a manner that is straightforward and linear. It generally implies a gradual and steady approach to achieving a goal.

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'development'?

Development is typically used when referring to wholesome growth in several aspects, and suggests a comprehensive approach to improvement. It implies a more comprehensive approach that involves looking at the big picture and making changes that positively impact the overall outcome.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words do not share the same pronunciation. Progress is pronounced as 'proh-gress' while development is pronounced as 'dih-vuhl-uhp-muhnt'.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One common mistake people make when using these words is confusing them with one another. People often use progress when they mean development, or vice versAnother mistake is using the incorrect pronunciation for either word. It is important to remember that progress is pronounced as 'proh-gress' and development is pronounced as 'dih-vuhl-uhp-muhnt'.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The country has seen significant economic _____ in the past decade.

2. Lisa is making great _____ in her piano lessons.

3. The new housing _____ will provide homes for over 500 families.

4. The _____ of a childs language skills can be influenced by various factors.

5. Scientists are tracking the _____ of the disease to find better treatments.

6. Urban _____ has its pros and cons for the environment.

1. development

Explanation: Referring to the comprehensive growth of a countrys economy over an extended period, development is more suitable. Economic development encapsulates growth in various aspects like GDP, employment, infrastructure, etc.

2. progress

Explanation: This sentence speaks about Lisas straightforward growth in a particular task, which is her piano lessons. Hence, progress fits better.

3. development

Explanation: Here, development refers to a housing project, which includes various aspects such as infrastructure, planning, and utilities.

4. development

Explanation: When discussing the growth of a childs language skills, which can span understanding, speaking, writing, and more, development denotes a more comprehensive growth in various areas.

5. progress

Explanation: The sentence refers to tracking the straightforward growth or spread of the disease, which is a specific aspect, making progress the suitable choice.

6. development

Explanation: The term urban development is a common phrase used to describe the comprehensive growth and expansion of urban areas, encompassing infrastructure, housing, facilities, and more.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.