Commonly Confused Words: Cite vs. Site vs. Sight

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For our final Commonly Confused Words post of the year, we’re going to take a look at the words cite, site, and sight. Scroll down to find out when to use which word!

What does each word mean?

  • If you cite something, it means you are making reference to it. Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

    Here is cite used in some example sentences:
    • When writing an essay, make sure to cite the sources you use.
    • He often cited passages from the Bible to encourage and inspire is his congregation.
  • A site is the piece of land on which something is located. The word can also be used to refer to a page on the internet. Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

    Here is site used in some example sentences:
    • New houses are being built on the site near the river.
    • Spellzone is the best site on the internet.
    • The drama hall is sited behind the main school building.
    • The producer visited London to look at various sites to shoot his film on.
  • Sight is an instance of visual perception (anything that can be seen) or the action of visually perceiving something. Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

    Here is sight used in some example sentences:
    • As he grew older, his eyesight became much worse.
    • They visited London to see the sights.
    • She was a sight for sore eyes.
    • The eagle caught sight of its prey.

Wait! Do you “see the sights” or “see the sites”?

This depends on the context of your sentence. If you are referring to general things people might see – e.g. places a tourist might see on holiday – use sights. If you are referring to a location for a specific purpose – e.g. for building houses, shooting films etc. – use sites.

Are there any tricks to help remember the difference between these words?

  • If you are describing something you can see, you need a word starting with s.
  • Site has the word sit in it. Try saying to yourself: “We’ll sit when we reach the site.
  • To help you remember the gh in sight, say to yourself: “Glasses help with bad sight”.
  • Citation Is Totally Essential if you want to pass the module.

Where can I find other posts on easy-to-confuse words?

What words do you always mix up? Let us know and we’ll feature them in a blog post!

Have a good week!


02 Dec 2014
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"Thank goodness for Spellzone during this remote learning phase. The site is easy for students to navigate independently and they're really enjoying the activities and spelling games. You get an awful lot for your money with Spellzone. Really reassuring is the very prompt response with helpdesk queries. I've very rarely needed the helpdesk, but when I have, the issue has been addressed and sorted within a very short time."

Sarah Taggart, Oasis Academy Lord's Hill