Cite, Sight, and Site

What are the differences between cite, sight, and site?

Cite means to mention or to quote.
Sight relates to vision.
Site means a piece of land or to assign a position to.

Sight, Site, and Cite

The words sight, site, and cite sound identical, but they mean different meanings (i.e., they are homonyms).


Sight relates to vision. It is the power of seeing (i.e., perception by the eyes). It can also be something that is seen (e.g., What a beautiful sight.)



The noun site refers to a piece of land (e.g., building site). As a verb, to site means to position in a place (e.g., I will site the slide near the swings.)



The verb to cite means to quote, to refer to, to summon to appear before a court of law or simply to mention.


A Quick Test

The Culprit Is Site

The word site (meaning a piece of land) is the one that causes problems. The most common error is writing sight instead of site.

A Way To Remember Site

A site often describes a place where building work is taking place (e.g., a building site). You can remember the definition of site using the te to remind you of tradesman's entrance. (A site is likely to have a tradesman's entrance.)

A Site Is a Place

The bottom line is this:

A site is a place (e.g. a building site, a camping site, a website).

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See Also

What are verbs? What are nouns? Glossary of easily confused words Glossary of common errors Glossary of grammatical terms