"Cool" and "cold" can be tricky sometimes. In this lesson, I'm gonna tell you about all their functions, differences, and similarities.

"Cool" vs. "Cold" in English

What Is Their Main Difference?

We use both 'cold' and 'cool' to talk about the temperature and someone's nature. However, when the weather or a particular drink is cold, it makes that person uncomfortable, and when someone is cold, they are ruthless and unfriendly.
When we use 'cool' to define the temperature, it indicates a nice and refreshing sense in hot weather. Also, when we use 'cool' to talk about how someone behaved, it means that he/she was able to control their feelings and respond calmly.

Differences

When talking about the temperature, we can use both 'cool' and 'cold'. 'Cool' indicates that the chilliness in the air makes one feel refreshed and comfortable, but 'cold' is the kind of weather that one is not comfortable in and craves warmth. Look below:

Last time I visited Vancouver, it was freezing cold.

As you can see, the sentence is showing this person's uneasiness.

I've been in cold weather for so long that I don't really remember how it feels to be warm.

Can you feel the nice, cool breeze blowing?

One of the things we like about summer is this cool, refreshing breeze.

We can also use 'cool' and 'cold' to refer to someone's behavior. When someone is 'cold', that person is ruthless and unfriendly. However, when someone is 'cool' when interacting with other people, they are able to maintain their self-restraint and self-composure, especially in the face of danger. Look below:

That old lady seemed cold at first, but as I got to know her, I changed my mind.

How cold she has become ever since she left her!

My friend keeps telling me to stay cool whenever she wants a reaction of you.

So, all that cool and calculating manner was just a mask?

Similarities

As stated above, both of these words can be used to refer to the temperature and someone's personality. Look below:

It seems cold outside.

The feeling of a nice, cool breeze on my skin is what freshens me up right now.

As you can see, both refer to the temperature.

She is often labeled as cold and cruel.

How I wish I had been able to remain cool when she attacked me that day.

Are They Interchangeable?

If we use these two words interchangeably, the listener might get confused. Compare:

✓ How she managed to remain cool despite her anger was what astonished me.

X How she managed to remain cold despite her anger was what astonished me.

As you can see, this one does not make any sense.

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