Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

Mail or Male?

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between mail and male?

As a noun, mail refers to letters or parcels sent by post.
As a verb, to mail means to send a letter or a parcel by post.

Male is an adjective that denotes someone or something as masculine. It is also a noun that refers to a masculine person, plant, or animal.

Mail or Male?

The words mail and male sound identical, but their meanings are completely different.


The noun mail refers to anything sent by post (usually parcels and letters). The word can also be seen in the word e-mail, which means "electronic mail". Mail is also used as a verb that means to send a letter or a parcel by post. For example:
  • I get mail; therefore, I am.
  • (Here, mail is a noun.)
  • I'm not sure that I mailed them, although I did close the slot and open it again to check.
  • (Here, mail is a verb.)


The noun male denotes something as masculine (i.e., not female). The word male may also be used an adjective.

  • I wanted to be a male ballet dancer.
  • (Here, male is an adjective.)
  • The word "excess" has no meaning for a male.
  • (Here, male is a noun.)
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