Difference Between Friend and Acquaintance

Main Difference – Friend vs Acquaintance

It’s very important to realize the difference between friend and acquaintance if you want to know who your real friends are. An acquaintance is someone you know and spend time with occasionally. A friend is a person with whom you have a strong bond of mutual affection. Friendship is always deeper and more intimate than mere acquaintance.  The main difference between friend and acquaintance is that friends are very close and knows each other’s intimate details, unlike acquaintances. The development of friendship takes time, and an acquaintance can become a friend after some time.

This article covers,

1. Who is a Friend? – Definition, Meaning and Characteristics 

2. Who is an Acquaintance? – Definition, Meaning and Characteristics 

3. Difference Between Friend and Acquaintance – Comparison of Meaning and Characteristics

Difference Between Friend and Acquaintance- infographic

Who is a Friend

Friend is a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations. Friendship includes a myriad of attributes and characteristics such as affection, honesty, trust, empathy, compassion, and mutual understanding. Friends share secrets and honest feelings with each other, and when one is in the company of his friends, he has the ability to be his true self. One can also make mistakes without fear of judgment from the friend. Friends help each other to solve their problems. In simple words, friends enjoy each other’s company.

We call our friends when we need help, have happy news to share, or just want to connect and talk. True friends always help each other. But remember that friendship is not just about giving whatever help your friend wants. A true friend will advise and even argue with you if you are making a bad choice. He or she’ll also try to take you back to the correct path.

Friends often tend to share common backgrounds, interests or occupations. This shared backgrounds or interests enable them to understand each other better.

Difference Between Friend and Acquaintance

Who is an Acquaintance

An acquaintance is someone who is known but who is not a close friend. For example, the people you see at work or at school, but never bother to see outside of those circumstances and friends of your friends can be categorized as acquaintances. Most of your ‘friends’ on social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace also belong to this category.

Acquaintances may know some information about each other, and they may have long conversations, but they may not be as close as friends. The term acquaintance can also be used to friends you don’t feel close to or those you don’t see much.

You don’t usually ask help from acquaintances whenever you are in trouble; it’s your friends that you call first. You will seek help from acquaintances only if your friends are unable to help.

Main Difference - Friend vs Acquaintance

Difference Between Friend and Acquaintance


Friend is a person with whom you share a strong bond.

Acquaintance is someone who is known but who is not a close friend.


Friends know everything about each other.

Acquaintances know each other slightly.


Friends often hang out with each other. 

Acquaintances do not interact often.


Friends help each other.

Acquaintances are not obliged to help.

Image Courtesy:

“Friends” (Public Domain) via

“Acquaintance” (Public Domain) via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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