Sight vs. Site

What is the difference?


Sight and site are two commonly confused words in the English language. When do you use each one?

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Even though these two words are spelled differently and mean different things, they are pronounced the same.

We'll go over examples and explanations to learn the difference.


Sight

Sight is a noun that refers to the ability to see things. In this sense, it is a synonym of vision or eyesight.

We often talk about our "sense of sight," which means our ability to see. (We can talk about our "sense of smell" or "sense of taste" in the same way.)

If his sight (or eyesight) is not very good, he will need glasses to keep reading on the computer!


We can also talk about the sights in a particular city to talk about the monuments or attractions. These are the things we want to see.

When we are using this meaning, we very often use the phrase see the sights.


When you travel to a new city, it's fun to see the sights!

Let's look at some examples of these two meanings of the word sight.

Examples:
  • His sight isn't very good after all those years working as a stage actor under those bright lights.
       Example: His eyesight has been damaged by the very bright lights.
  • You should get your sight checked every year by a professional, especially if you already wear glasses.
        Example: You should get your vision checked by an eye doctor.
  • I love to see the sights when I travel. I think my favorite attraction is the Taj Mahal.

    Example: I love to see the monuments or famous buildings in new cities.



Site

Site is a noun that means place.

We use it especially in formal contexts or when we are talking about the place where something important happened.



For example, these ruins were the site of many performances in ancient times.


We can also talk about the site for a new building or for an event.

In all of these cases, site is a more formal way of saying place.


Examples

  • They need to buy some land first so they will have a site to build the new store.        

    Example:
    They need to buy land so that they have a place to build the new store.
  • This beautiful field was the site of a very important battle in Medieval times.       

    Example:
    This was the place where an important battle happened in the Middle Ages.
  • This is the site where the peace treaty was signed.
        Example: This is the place where the treaty was signed.




And of course, we can use the word site to talk about a "place" on the internet, a website.

A site includes many pages. A page is one part of a site that you can look at on one screen, but the site is much bigger.



So, if you want lots more practice with English, you can look at more pages on the Really Learn English site!


More Tips

These two words are difficult, but just remember that sight talks about seeing (the ability to see or a place or monument that we want to see).

Site talks about a place (where something happened or where something is built, in a formal context) or a website.


We've seen that even though these words sound the same, their meaning and use are different. Now you've got it!


These were the differences between sight and site. Now that you understand, it's time to practice! Get our ESL Books.

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