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Cite, Sight, or Site?

What Is the Difference between "Cite," "Sight," and "Site"?

homeconfused wordsCite, Sight, or Site?
the quick answer

The Quick Answer

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

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.)

Examples:
  • The newborn foal was an emotional sight for all of us.
  • After the laser treatment, her sight was perfect.

Site

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.)

Examples:
  • There are three landfill sites in the local vicinity.
  • Mr Dodds claimed his tools had been stolen from the archaeological site.

Cite

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

Examples:
  • The lecturer cited several instances of illegal behaviour.
  • The young inspector was cited for his outstanding achievements.
  • Remember to cite expert opinion to support your points.

A Quick Test

beware

Beware!

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.
hot grammar tip

Hot Tip

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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