Cite, Sight, and Site

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

Cite, sight, and site are easy to confuse because they sound identical.
  • "Cite" means to mention or to quote. For example:
    • I will cite your theory in my paper. correct tick
  • "Sight" relates to seeing. For example:
    • He lost his sight momentarily. correct tick
    • What a beautiful sight! correct tick
  • "Site" means a piece of land or to assign a position to. For example:
    • He lives on a building site. correct tick
    • Site your tent near the water. correct tick
cite, sight, or site

More about "Cite," "Sight," and "Site"

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


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

Example sentences with "cite":
  • The lecturer cited several instances of illegal behaviour. correct tick
  • The young inspector was cited for his outstanding achievements. correct tick
  • Remember to cite expert opinion to support your points. correct tick


"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.)

Example sentences with "sight":
  • The newborn foal was an emotional sight for all of us. correct tick
  • After the laser treatment, her sight was perfect. correct tick


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.)

Example sentences with "site":
  • There are three landfill sites in the local vicinity. correct tick
  • Mr. Dodds claimed his tools had been stolen from the archaeological site. correct tick

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."

Remembering "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.)

The bottom line is this:

A site is a place (e.g. a building site, a camping site, a website).
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This page was written by Craig Shrives.