Characteristic and Mode

  1. Hard: rigid. Harsh: rough. Herein, the first is a word for the characteristic, while the second is a word for the mode; for the earth element is characterized as hard, but its mode is rough, which is why it is called “harsh.” Clung to: taken firmly [by kamma]; the meaning is, firmly taken, seized, adhered to, as “I,” “mine” (see §89f.).

Visuddhimagga - CHAPTER XI Concentration (conclusion): Nutriment and the Elements

What is the difference between a dhammas characteristic and it’s mode?

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  1. Kakkhaḷanti thaddhaṃ.[Hard: rigid.]

Kharigatanti pharusaṃ.
Tattha paṭhamaṃ lakkhaṇavacanaṃ[characteristic], dutiyaṃ ākāravacanaṃ, kakkhaḷalakkhaṇā hi pathavīdhātu, sā pharusākārā hoti, tasmā kharigatanti vuttā.

Not sure about ‘mode’ here.