Scent vs Sent: Difference and Comparison

English is a well-known language for homophone (the words similar to pronounce and different in meaning). We get confused between the spelling and usage of homophones.

We tend to use them wrong, especially in writing which leads to miscommunication. Scent and sent are two such homophones that perplex the non-native users of English very often.

Key Takeaways

  1. Scent refers to the aroma or fragrance of something, while sent is the past tense of send.
  2. The scent describes perfumes, flowers, and food, while the sent describes actions like delivering or transmitting something.
  3. While the two words sound similar, their meanings are quite distinct.

Scent vs Sent

Scent refers to a smell, while sent is the past tense of the verb sent. Scent is related to the sense of smell and is used to describe a fragrance or aroma. Sent is a verb that means to cause something to go or to transmit a message or package to a particular destination or recipient.

Scent vs Sent
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The word scent is a very commonly used word that is derived from French vocabulary, which means smell. It became an English word in the 17th century.

Before the 17th century, It used to be spelled sent, and the letter C is said to have occurred while transcribing Middle Eastern phrases (ascent, descent).

The word sent is a past participle of the word send, which means to dispatch something or deliver something. The word sent is used for expressing the work done in the past.

It is pronounced similar to the word scent. It is derived from the Middle English word. We use the word sent according to the tense.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonScentSent
DefinitionThe word scent means a pleasant smell of something or the addition of fragrance to something.The word sent means the thing (post, email, or anything else) that had been delivered in the past.
Parts of SpeechDepending on the context, the term scent can be used as a noun and a verb.The word sent displays an action, so it is a verb.
Type of TenseIt may signify past, present, and future.It is used to express the actions of the past.
Derived FromThe word scent is derived from the French word.The word sent is derived from the Middle English word.
ExampleThe flowers add scent to the room.Ram sent a letter to his sister.

What is Scent?

The word scent has its root in the French language, which was spelled differently before the seventeenth century. Some of the people get baffled which letter ( S or C) in the word scent is silent. However, no English word is silent in the English language.

The word (sc) at the beginning of the word scent is a digraph. It means an excellent fragrance of any flower, perfume, makeup product, or anything. The other meaning is to add fragrance to something.

Depending on the context, the term scent can be used as both a noun and a verb. A living being can sense the smell of a scent when it comes in contact with the air through the process of diffusion.

During diffusion, the scent molecules are spread freely in the air. Scent plays a vital role in our lives as the pleasant odor soothes us. Furthermore, it improves people’s body odor and increases their confidence around others.

A good fragrance empowers the foul smell around us. Room fresheners, perfumes, deodorants, and fresh flowers can all help to provide scent. Because scent is a homophone of sent, we must understand how to use it in sentences to avoid confusion.

For Example,

  1.  Spray scent in the room.
  2.  His scent is awesomesauce.
scent

What is Sent?

The English word sent has the same pronunciation as the word scent but is very different in meaning. It is an action and is the past participle of the verb send, which means to dispatch or deliver something (post, gift, email, important document).

The word sent is derived from old English. It can be a transitive and intransitive verb, depending on the sentence formation and requirement in the sentence.

It has multiple synonyms, depending on the sentence requirement. The synonyms are forwarded, dispatched, delivered.

While using the word sent, do not confuse with the first form of word send. When we talk about the present scenario or the upcoming action, we use the word send. However, while discussing the past action, we use the word sent.

Moreover, we use the first form of the verb with the word did (used to tell past events), so we will accompany the verb did with send instead of sent.

Examples of using the word sent in different ways,

  1. She sent the letter.
  2. Geeta has sent
  3. She did not send an email.

The word sent is used as a transitive verb in the first phrase. In the second sentence, sent is used as an intransitive word. Because the word did is present in the third sentence, we chose the first form of the verb to describe past action.

sent

Main Differences Between Scent and Sent

  1. The meaning of scent is an excellent fragrance. On the other hand, the connotation of the word sent is that something was delivered in the past.
  2. The word scent appears in the present and future tense. However, the word sent is to represent the past tense.
  3. The word scent is categorized under two parts of the speech (noun and verb). On the other hand, the word sent is a verb.
  4. The word scent has been taken from the French language. On the other side, the word sent is taken from old English.
  5. The synonyms of the word scent are aroma and odor. On the contrary, the synonyms of the word sent are delivered and forwarded.
Difference Between Scent and Sent
References
  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/nn1819
  2. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/ijsl.2000.144.0/html

Last Updated : 17 July, 2023

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