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Quick answer
"Unlike" is a preposition which is often translated as "a diferencia de", and "in contrast to" is a phrase which is also often translated as "a diferencia de". Learn more about the difference between "unlike" and "in contrast to" below.
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (expressing contrast)
a. a diferencia de
Unlike my brother, my sister always teases me.A diferencia de mi hermano, mi hermana siempre se burla de mí.
2. (expressing difference)
a. diferente de
The results are unlike those on the statistics.Los resultados son diferentes de los de las estadísticas.
3. (atypical of)
a. impropio de
This behavior is unlike you.Este comportamiento es impropio de ti.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
4. (different)
a. distinto
They say that unlike forces attract each other.Se dice que las fuerzas distintas se atraen.
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in contrast to(
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
1. (general)
a. a diferencia de
In contrast to David, Henrietta actually has the right kind of experience.A diferencia de David, Henrietta realmente tiene el tipo adecuado de experiencia.
b. en contraste con
In contrast to your big plans for the weekend, I'm going to clean the house.En contraste con tus grandes planes para el fin de semana, voy a limpiar la casa.
c. en contraposición a
In contrast to his very serious sister, Steve is a comedian.En contraposición a su hermana muy seria, Steve es un comediante.
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