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what is the difference between 1. how something works and 2. how something is used

How would you describe the difference between the following two expressions: 1. how something works and 2. how something is used
 
Also, can they mean the same thing?
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1 Answer

How something works refers to the electrical, mechanical, chemical, or physical properties and processes by which it does whatever it does.  How something is used refers to the use to which the item is put.
 
A car works by internal combustion, the burning of fuel to make minor explosions to cause pistons to rise and fall and turn the wheels attached to an axel... and so forth.  How it is used is as a method of transportation to get from one place to another.
 
It is basically possible for them to be approximately the same thing.  A knife works via the process of applying pressure with a metal object in a rhythmic motion in order to cut through a softer object.  That is basically how a knife is used as well as how it works.

Comments

You can also say "how something is used" is the purpose for that something.  What is that something intended for?  It talks about the applications of that something.