Difference between shift and transfer?

What is the difference between shift and transfer?



When we use transfer, we usually say things like:

  1. He transferred to the New York office from the Chicago office.
  2. Can you transfer funds to the checking account?

For shift, something like:

  1. The foundation of the house shifted 5 cm in the earthquake.
  2. He kept shifting in his seat the whole meeting. (This phrase is used when someone moves back and forth in their seat).
  3. A few key members of the House of Representatives shifted their position to align with the party opposition. (This one is not a physical shift, but an ideological one).



You have given a lot of examples without proper explanation. I would be glad if you could give one.

Chris  Bowley Chris Bowley (0) on 27/08/13

I'd say 'shift' when something moves a short distance or changes state to something similar.

I agree - shift usually means a small move whereas transfer can be any distance. It depends on the context of course.



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