Common vs. Shared: What's the Difference?
Common refers to things that are widespread or belong equally to all, while Shared involves dividing something among individuals or groups, or using something jointly.
Common" typically insinuates something that is prevalent or ordinary. A common interest, for instance, suggests a widespread, generalized focus. "Shared", on the other hand, implies something that is distributed among or used by several. When we talk about a shared interest, it denotes a specific, mutual interest among a defined group of people.
When one speaks of "common" property or areas, it implies spaces that are accessible or belonging to an entire community or public. Whereas, when we speak of "shared" spaces or properties, it indicates a specific joint usage or ownership between identified entities, and not generalized to everyone.
"Common" can also describe something that is habitual or conventional, something that happens frequently or is generally accepted. For instance, a common practice in a community might be universally acknowledged and performed. "Shared" doesn't encompass habitual aspects, rather it zeroes in on the collective use or ownership of something between parties.
In certain contexts, “common” can suggest something mundane or of ordinary quality, something that lacks exclusiveness. Conversely, “shared” does not hold implications regarding quality or exclusiveness but strictly denotes joint participation or ownership.
The word "common" may also hint at something that is collective in a cultural or communal sense, like common beliefs, which could be held by an entire society or group without indication of how these beliefs were formed or propagated. On a different note, "shared" incorporates the idea of joint activities or possessions, like shared experiences, which denotes experiences mutually and actively participated in by a group.
Jointly used or owned
Implies distribution or joint use
Open to all (public)
Restricted to a group
Can imply ordinariness
No quality implication
May not imply active involvement
Suggests active participation or ownership
Common and Shared Definitions
Ordinary; of ordinary qualities; without special rank or position.
The common man wants peace, not war.
Having a part or parts in common with.
The two rectangles have shared sides.
Belonging equally to or shared equally by two or more; joint
Used, owned, or experienced by two or more individuals.
The shared car was economical for both travelers.
Of or relating to the community as a whole; public
For the common good.
Participated in, used, or experienced jointly.
The siblings had shared childhood memories.
Gas stations became common as the use of cars grew.
Divided or distributed out.
The shared resources helped complete the project faster.
Occurring frequently or habitually; usual
It is common for movies to last 90 minutes or more.
A part or portion belonging to, distributed to, contributed by, or owed by a person or group
The pirates argued over their shares of the treasure.
Most widely known; ordinary
The common housefly.
An equitable portion
Do one's share of the work.
Having no special designation, status, or rank
A common sailor.
One of the equal parts into which the capital stock of a company is divided
Bought 200 shares of the company's stock.
Not distinguished by superior or noteworthy characteristics; average
The common spectator.
A unit of ownership in a mutual fund or other investment vehicle
Bought two shares in a mutual fund.
Of no special quality; standard
Shares Chiefly British Stocks
European shares jumped two percent. The fund invests half the money in bonds and half in shares.
Of mediocre or inferior quality; second-rate
To accord a share in (something) to another or others
Shared her chocolate bar with a friend.
Unrefined or coarse in manner; vulgar
Behavior that branded him as common.
To divide and parcel out in shares; apportion
Shared the estate among his heirs.
Either masculine or feminine in gender.
To participate in, use, enjoy, or experience jointly or in turns
Share a responsibility.
Share a room.
Representing one or all of the members of a class; not designating a unique entity.
To hold or have jointly with another or others
She shares my view about the election.
Commons The common people; commonalty.
To relate (a secret or experience, for example) to another or others.
The social class composed of commoners.
(Computers) To make (a digital file) accessible to other users on a network, as for copying and downloading.
The parliamentary representatives of this class.
To have a share or part
Shared in the profits.
Commons The House of Commons.
To allow someone to use or enjoy something that one possesses
Being in daycare taught the child to share.
A tract of land, usually in a centrally located spot, belonging to or used by a community as a whole
A band concert on the village common.
To use or enjoy something jointly or in turns
There is only one computer, so we will have to share.
The legal right of a person to use the lands or waters of another, as for fishing.
To talk about personal experiences or feelings with others.
Commons(used with a sing. verb) A building or hall for dining, typically at a university or college.
Simple past tense and past participle of share
Used by multiple entities or for multiple purposes or in multiple ways.
(Ecclesiastical) A service used for a particular class of festivals.
Have in common; held or experienced in common;
Two shared valence electrons forming a bond between adjacent nuclei
A shared interest in philately
Mutual; shared by more than one.
The two competitors have the common aim of winning the championship.
Winning the championship is an aim common to the two competitors.
Distributed in portions (often equal) on the basis of a plan or purpose
Occurring or happening regularly or frequently; usual.
It is common to find sharks off this coast.
Distributed in portions (often used in the context of distributed computing).
Shared data was synchronized across all devices.
Found in large numbers or in a large quantity; usual.
Commoner used to be commoner, but more common is now more common.
Sharks are common in these waters.
It differs from the common blackbird in the size of its beak.
Simple, ordinary or vulgar.
(grammar) Of, pertaining or belonging to the common gender.
(grammar) Of or pertaining to common nouns as opposed to proper nouns.
Vernacular, referring to the name of a kind of plant or animal, i.e., common name vs. scientific name.
(obsolete) Profane; polluted.
(obsolete) Given to lewd habits; prostitute.
Mutual good, shared by more than one.
A tract of land in common ownership; common land.
The people; the community.
(legal) The right of taking a profit in the land of another, in common either with the owner or with other persons; so called from the community of interest which arises between the claimant of the right and the owner of the soil, or between the claimants and other commoners entitled to the same right.
(obsolete) To communicate (something).
(obsolete) To converse, talk.
(obsolete) To have sex.
(obsolete) To participate.
(obsolete) To have a joint right with others in common ground.
(obsolete) To board together; to eat at a table in common.
Belonging or relating equally, or similarly, to more than one; as, you and I have a common interest in the property.
Though life and sense be common to men and brutes.
Belonging to or shared by, affecting or serving, all the members of a class, considered together; general; public; as, properties common to all plants; the common schools; the Book of Common Prayer.
Such actions as the common good requireth.
The common enemy of man.
Often met with; usual; frequent; customary.
Grief more than common grief.
Not distinguished or exceptional; inconspicuous; ordinary; plebeian; - often in a depreciatory sense.
The honest, heart-felt enjoyment of common life.
This fact was infamousAnd ill beseeming any common man,Much more a knight, a captain and a leader.
Above the vulgar flight of common souls.
What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
Given to habits of lewdness; prostitute.
A dame who herself was common.
The people; the community.
An inclosed or uninclosed tract of ground for pleasure, for pasturage, etc., the use of which belongs to the public; or to a number of persons.
The right of taking a profit in the land of another, in common either with the owner or with other persons; - so called from the community of interest which arises between the claimant of the right and the owner of the soil, or between the claimants and other commoners entitled to the same right.
To converse together; to discourse; to confer.
Embassadors were sent upon both parts, and divers means of entreaty were commoned of.
To have a joint right with others in common ground.
To board together; to eat at a table in common.
A piece of open land for recreational use in an urban area;
They went for a walk in the park
Belonging to or participated in by a community as a whole; public;
For the common good
Common lands are set aside for use by all members of a community
Of no special distinction or quality; widely known or commonly encountered; average or ordinary or usual;
The common man
A common sailor
The common cold
A common nuisance
Followed common procedure
It is common knowledge that she lives alone
The common housefly
A common brand of soap
Common to or shared by two or more parties;
A common friend
The mutual interests of management and labor
A common (or familiar) complaint
The usual greeting
Being or characteristic of or appropriate to everyday language;
A vernacular term
The vulgar tongue of the masses
The technical and vulgar names for an animal species
Of or associated with the great masses of people;
The common people in those days suffered greatly
Behavior that branded him as common
His square plebeian nose
A vulgar and objectionable person
The unwashed masses
Of low or inferior quality or value;
Of what coarse metal ye are molded
Produced...the common cloths used by the poorer population
Lacking refinement or cultivation or taste;
He had coarse manners but a first-rate mind
Behavior that branded him as common
An untutored and uncouth human being
An uncouth soldier--a real tough guy
Appealing to the vulgar taste for violence
The vulgar display of the newly rich
To be expected; standard;
Prevalent; found in many places or among many people.
Blue is a common color in national flags.
Shared by, coming from, or done by more than one.
The common objective was to win the match.
Forming or formed by two or more parts or branches.
The common meeting ground was decided.
In frequent use; serving many.
The common areas in the building need renovation.
Can "shared" imply something is universally accessible?
No, "shared" usually implies something is used or owned jointly by a specific group, not everyone.
Does "shared" have implications about quality or exclusiveness?
No, "shared" mainly indicates joint use or ownership without implying quality or exclusiveness.
What does "common" generally convey?
"Common" often conveys something that is widespread, prevalent, or belonging to all.
Can "common" also mean usual or ordinary?
Yes, "common" can refer to what is usual or ordinary in certain contexts.
Does "shared" necessarily imply active participation?
Generally, yes. "Shared" typically suggests active, joint participation or ownership.
Can "common" imply ordinariness or lack of exclusivity?
Yes, "common" can sometimes suggest something is ordinary or not exclusive.
Can "shared" be used in the context of distributing resources?
Yes, "shared" can refer to resources being distributed among or used jointly by multiple entities.
Can something be "common" without being "shared"?
Yes, something can be common (widespread or usual) without being actively shared.
How does "common knowledge" relate to widespread information?
"Common knowledge" refers to information that is generally accepted and known by a large group regardless of how it is learned.
Is "common ground" a term that signifies shared aspects?
Yes, "common ground" signifies areas of agreement or shared interests between parties.
Can something be "shared" without being "common"?
Yes, something can be shared among a specific group without being widespread or common.
Is "shared responsibility" about common duty?
Yes, "shared responsibility" pertains to a duty or obligation borne jointly by the involved parties.
Can "common" refer to what is shared historically or culturally among people?
Yes, "common" can refer to shared history, culture, or characteristics in a broad sense.
What does a "shared" experience typically imply?
A "shared" experience implies an experience that is mutually participated in or undergone by a group.
Can "common" refer to something shared by a group?
Yes, "common" can denote something that is shared by, or applicable to, a group or community.
Is "shared knowledge" the same as "common knowledge"?
Not exactly. While "common knowledge" is widely known, "shared knowledge" refers to information known by a specific group.
What does it mean when resources are "shared" in computing?
In computing, "shared" resources refer to data, memory, or processing ability that can be accessed and used by multiple systems or users.
Can "shared" imply partial ownership?
Yes, "shared" can imply ownership or use that is divided among individuals or groups.
Can "common" imply shared rights or privileges?
Yes, "common" can denote shared rights or privileges among a group or community.
Can "common" imply something is normal or standard?
Yes, "common" can suggest something aligns with standard or normal occurrences or conditions.
Written bySawaira Riaz
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