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in the woods vs in the forest

what is the difference?

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    They can mean the same thing many times, but there is a difference.
    If I am talking about trees, close together and covering a large area, I will use the word 'forest'.
    The forests of Bavaria.
    The Amazon rain forests.
    10 percent of the earth's land is forest.

    'Woods' is usually used with a smaller area or a general designation:
    (Smaller) "He went into the woods behind the house."
    (Smaller) "The woods border the lake."
    (General) "We camped out in the woods." Note that you could say 'forest' here, but most native speakers would use 'woods'.

    Both mean going into a large area full of trees and nature, they are nearly the same. The differences I would think important between the two are that woods are more common and are usually smaller than forests, forests are much more diverse (in wildlife and location) than woods.
    Where I live (Northern, Central USA) most "forests" are wildlife reserves (spaces of nature that are protected by the government) whereas "woods" are natural lands that haven't been touched by construction yet (not protected by government).

    In any case, you could say either one and who ever you were talking to would know what you meant ^^


    Woods are smaller than a forest. Other than that, they are the same.

    Note in British English, there is also "wood," which means the same as "woods" in American English.

    British: I took a walk in the wood.
    American: I took a walk in the woods.

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