Fate and Destiny

Fate and Destiny

The main difference

  1. “Destiny” is usually positive and out of your control.
  2. “Fate” is usually negative and is less spiritual.


The details


Destiny is a big word. When we hear it we think of “the bigger plan” and how the universe decides what happens to us. There’s no control because the universe has decided for us.

We also usually use it for a particular person.

It’s her destiny.

I don’t know about you, but I ALWAYS think of Darth Vader in Star Wars when I hear this word:

“It is your destiny! Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son!”

Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back

He’s imagining something that no one can avoid -- a certain truth. And, in his eyes, a positive one.

His destiny was to rule the universe.


This word is less pleasant. We usually use it to describe how someone reached a negative end point, sometimes death. We often use it with an adjective:

After losing his millions, he went back to work as a cleaner for the rest of his life and that was his unfortunate fate.

He was fated to a life of cleaning toilets.

We can also use it as a passive verb as part of the phrase “to be fated to.”

He was fated to clean the toilets for the rest of his life.

Some people have problems with the words “problem,” “issue” and “trouble.”

Or should that be “some people have trouble... Or issues”?

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