A regular sore throat could be anything from minor inflammation from some sort of trauma, like a toothbrush you jabbed accidently to far into your throat, or dryness from inhaling a lot of dirt when cutting the lawn, etc. Strep is a particular bacteria Strepalacaccus Arrius which I am certain to have misspelled. You are diagnosed with Strep after a culture has been taken from your throat and it's grown and identified so a very selective antibiotic can be used to treat it effectively. Only certain antibiotic work. There are other types of throat infections, however Strep is usually the culprit that's why they test for it primarily before others. That's some of what I remember.