Difference Between Sale vs Sell

Difference Between Sale vs Sell

There are times when people who do not have a good grasp of the English language may use two different words with two different meanings interchangeably because they are unable to tell the difference. For instance, the difference between sale and sell may be confusing to them. The pronunciations and meanings of these two words are remotely similar, but it would be out of context to use them interchangeably in any situation.

We will define these terms, explain what part of speech they are, throw in some examples for further comprehension, and highlight other factors that will help you understand how these terms differ.

Definition of Sale

A sale is defined as the exchange of a commodity for a legal tender or a period of time when a party sells a particular product at a reduced price. In both cases, it has to do with the exchange of money whether it is for a normal commercial transaction or a special occasion where a commodity is offered at a discount rate.

The difference between sell and sale can be seen in what category they belong to in regard to parts of speech in English. The term “sale” is categorized as a noun because it is a name given to an event. It does not require conjugation and is usually accompanied by an indefinite or definite article like “a,” “an,” and “the.”

When you talk about “sales,” you are referring to the total number of goods sold within a particular time. The term can also refer to an authority responsible for commercial activity or the department for the sale of products.

Definition of Sell

Sell is defined as an act of giving or handing over something to another person in exchange for money. From the definition, we see that this term describes an action, so it is classified as a verb part of speech in the English language.

Normally, if you sell a commodity, you give out the commodity in exchange for cash. If an item is sold on credit, you have to count on the promise made by the buyer to make a payment on a future date. Because this term is a verb, it requires conjugation to fit into the different contexts of a sentence. For example, the past tense is “sold.”

Main Differences Between Sale vs Sell

So far, you should be able to tell the difference between these two terms through their meanings and their part of speech. Let us put sell vs sale side by side to see how they compare to each other. This will help you have an in-depth understanding of these terms.

Basis of ComparisonSaleSell
DefinitionEither the exchange of a commodity for a legal tender or a period of time when a party sells a particular product at a reduced priceThe act of giving or handing over something to another person in exchange for money
Part of speechNounVerb
ConjugatesNo conjugationConjugation required
ExamplesThe car is not for sale.Tickets are on sale for the concert.The sale of cigarettes or alcohol is not allowed in the school.  I need to sell some of my jewelry for cash.They sold their house to repay the bank loan.The grocery store does not sell paint.

This table contains a summary of the variations between these two terms. Understanding them will give anyone a basic foundational knowledge on how, where, and when to use them correctly.

Difference Between Sale and Sell: Conclusion

In the world of commerce and finance, these terms are used quite often and in the right context as explained above. They may sound similar and even have similar meanings, but they cannot be used in place of each other. You may come across these words being incorrectly used interchangeably in an informal context but not in a professional setting.

The comparison of sale vs sell as seen above shows that the former is a noun while the latter is a verb. The former is a term that explains the exchange of goods or services for money, while the latter is the act of handing over something for money.