Commonly Confused Words: Suite vs. Sweet

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What does each word mean?

The word suite can be used to describe a musical composition made up of several movements, a series of connected rooms used as a living space in a hotel, and a set of matching furniture. 

Here is suite used in some example sentences:

  • This Christmas, the orchestra will play The Nutcracker Suite
  • They were staying in the penthouse suite in a very expensive hotel. 
  • Will you buy a three-piece suite for your living room?

Look up suite in the Spellzone dictionary

If something is sweet, it means it tastes like sugar or is pleasing to hear, see, or smell. Sweet is also the British English word for candy.

Here is sweet used in some example sentences:

  • We will be baking plenty of sweet treats for Christmas, including mince pies and gingerbread. 
  • The sound of the children’s sweet singing voices spread through the school hall. 
  • The flowers smelt sweet
  • It was a sweet sight to see my niece opening her presents. 

Look up sweet in the Spellzone dictionary

Where does each word come from?

Suite dates to 1670s when it was used in reference to a ‘train of followers or attendants’. It comes from the Old French ‘sieute’ meaning ‘act of following attendance’. The word took on the meaning ‘set of instrumental compositions’ from the 1690s, ‘set of connected rooms’ from 1716, and ‘set of furniture’ from 1805.

Sweet comes from the Old English ‘swete meaning ‘pleasing to the senses, mind or feelings’, from the Proto-Germanic ‘swotja’. The word has been used in reference to candy since 1851 (thought the word sweetie was used before that).

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

  • The word suite has the word suit in it. Think of a suit as a set of clothes to help you remember that the word suite is often used to describe a set of things (e.g. a set of compositions, a set of rooms, a set of furniture).
  • Sugar is often produced from sugar beets. Use the phrase ‘sugar beets are sweet’ to help you remember both words are spelt with an ee.

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15 Dec 2022
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