Cent vs Sent: Difference and Comparison

The most amazing aspect of English grammar is homophones. These are very imperative to excel in English vocabulary. However, these words can confuse new English users due to the same pronunciation.

Moreover, these phrases are subtly similar in spelling. One such example of homophonic pair is cent and sent. The spellings only differ in their initials. These words are very different in meaning.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Cent” is a monetary unit, representing one-hundredth of a currency, such as the US dollar, while “sent” is the past tense and past participle of the verb “send,” which means to dispatch or transmit something.
  2. The word “cent” is a noun used in financial contexts, whereas “sent” is a verb used to describe the action of sending a person or object from one place to another.
  3. “cent” and “sent” are homophones, meaning they sound the same but have different meanings and spellings.

Cent vs Sent

Cent refers to a unit of currency in many countries, including the United States, where it is equals to one-hundredth of a dollar. E.g., a penny is worth a cent. Sent is the past tense and past participle of the verb send, which means to cause something to go or be taken to a particular destination.

Cent vs Sent

The English word cent has been part of the English language since the 14th century. It mainly has multiple meanings. One of them is the smallest denomination of the currency.

The other meaning is hundred. This word is a noun. Moreover, Robert Morris, in 1782, was the one to list cent in the currency plan.

The English word sent is the second and third form of the word send. The word means to deliver something online or offline or to dispatch.

The phrase sent is employed for showing the past tasks. The word comes from a Proto German word. Depending on the tense, we use the word sent.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCentSent
Definition The word cent has a dual meaning, one is related to currency, and the other is related to mathematical value.The term “sent” denotes delivery of anything (a parcel, an email, or a document) in the old days.
Parts of SpeechThe word cent is a noun.The word sent is a verb.
TenseSince cent is a noun, it is appropriate for use in the past, present, or future.The word sent is used to show actions of the past.
RootsThe word cent was taken from the French word.The word sent has been from Proto German.
ExampleHe bought an apple for 50 cents.I have sent an email to you.

What is Cent?

The word cent is the English language that has been part of English since the 1370s. This word was borrowed from the French language. The word in terms of currency is equal to 0.01 dollars and euros. 

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It is a penny in many countries. The word cent is equal to a hundred in maths. Moreover, the number hundred appears as a C in Roman numerics. It has been in use since 800 BC.

The symbol C is a short form of the word cent. Robert Morris was the one to introduce the term cent in the currency system of the countries using the dollar. 

Cent also is a measuring unit in the music industry. It measures the ratio of two frequencies in music. The word cent acts as a suffix in terms of percent (as in for every hundred).

People perplex the word cent with the English word sent due to similar sounds. So, one should focus on the spelling rather than the pronunciation. Only the first letter of both the phrases differ, the rest all the spelling is the same. 

So pay attention to the letter C (used in Roman language to remember). We must practice this word’s meaning in a sentence.

The sentences which we can form are:

  1. Cent is one of the small units of many currencies (dollar and euros).
  2. I have brought chocolates for 50 cents.

What is Sent?

The word sent is a part of the English language. The word is regarded as the second and third versions of the word send. The word send is a commonly used phrase in English and under many professions. It is a part of the tech world, delivery world, gifting items.

The phrase originated from the Proto German word after the fifteenth century. Since the word sent is the past participle of send, this word is for expressing past actions. This word can be both kinds of a verb (transitive and intransitive). 

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When a transitive verb is used, it signifies that the object must be introduced when doing the action. Moreover, the intransitive verb means one does not need to specify the object in a sentence.

For example,

  1. She sent a letter.
  2. She sent.

Because the word letter is an object in the first sentence, the phrase sent is used as a transitive verb. Because no object appears in the second sentence, the verb sent is intransitive. We must not confuse sent with the word cent. 

So, understanding the spellings, and parts of speech becomes imperative to be familiar with the word sent. Moreover, we must comprehend the exception with the verb.

Due to grammatical restrictions, the verb (did) cannot be combined with the word sent. So, we write the verb send with the word did.

The example,

  1. She did send a parcel to me.

Main Differences Between Cent and Sent

  1. The word cent has multiple significants, one of them is 1/100 unit of currency. On the other hand, the word sent means delivered or dispatched.
  2. The word cent has existed since the 14th century. On the other side, the word sent came later somewhere in the 15th century.
  3. The word cent is a name of a penny or another name for value hundred. However, the word sent is an action for sending something.
  4. The word cent has been used in expressing past, present, and future events. On the contrary, the word sent is employed to tell past events.
  5. In a sentence, we can use the word cent as, Please exchange my dollars into the cents, while in a sentence, we use the word sent as, She sent me a beautiful gift.
Difference Between Cent and Sent


  1. https://api.taylorfrancis.com/content/books/mono/download?identifierName=doi&identifierValue=10.4324/9780203423998&type=googlepdf
  2. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/tojde/issue/49972/640517

Last Updated : 22 July, 2023

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