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The main difference is that declarative languages don't require instructions. A pure declarative language cannot even be given sequential instructions. Instead they take goals and fill in the blanks to achieve the goal. To grossly simplify, solving a polynomial equation in an imperative language involves one line to describe the equation and then 10 lines to implement Newton's method. Whereas in a declarative language, it takes one line to describe the equation, and that is all. Run the 'program' and valid solutions are generated. No need to waste time writing and debugging a solver, finding solutions is baked in the way garbage collection is baked into high level languages.

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