What is the difference between $ (this) and this in jQuery?

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What's the difference between $(this) and this in jQuery, and why do they sometimes give the same result and other times behave differently?


$(this) wraps this with the jQuery functionality.

For example, this code would fail:

$('.someDiv').onClick(function(){
    // this refers to the DOM element so the following line would fail
    this.fadeOut(100);
});

So we wrap this in jQuery:

$('.someDiv').onClick(function(){
    // wrap this in jQuery so we can use jQuery fadeOut
    $(this).fadeOut(100);
});