Send vs Sent: Difference and Comparison

Send and Sent is two different tenses of the same verb, and that is ‘send.’ A verb is a word that states or asserts something about a person or a thing.

A verb may tell us what a person or thing is, what the person or the item does, and what is done to a person or thing.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Send” is the base form of the verb, indicating the act of dispatching or transmitting something from one place or person to another.
  2. “Sent” is the past tense and past participle of the verb “send,” signifying that the action of sending has already occurred.
  3. Choosing the correct form depends on the intended meaning and tense of the sentence, with “send” for present or future actions and “sent” for past actions.

Send vs. Sent

The difference between send and sent is that the former is the present tense of the verb ‘send.’ The latter, on the other hand, is the past tense of the verb ‘send.’ The word ‘send’ is used in a sentence to refer to what a person or thing does. Whereas the term ‘sent’ is used to give an account of what a person or thing is or what is done to an item or a person.

Send vs Sent

The word ‘send’ is mainly used to describe what a person or thing does. It is applied in a sentence that describes an activity happening at present. It means ‘to cause or order something or someone to go or be conveyed.’ For example:

  1. Do send me a message when you are fully dressed.
  2. You should send your brother to a coaching class.

On the other hand, the term’ sent’ refers to what a person or a thing is or what is done to a person or a thing. It is the past tense of the word ‘send.’ For example:

  1. The gift was sent to her the previous day.
  2. I had sent my brother to our parental home to meet our ailing grandmother.

 

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonSendSent
What is it?A verbConjugation of verb
Grammatical usageAs a verb and a sentence in active voice.Verb, adjective, and a sentence in the passive voice
TensePresentPast
Progressive formsPresentPast
Sentence ConstructionApplied before the beginning of completion of an action.They are applied after the beginning of the completion of an action.

 

When to Use Send?

It is a word in English that means “to convey something” or “to order or cause something or someone to go.” The word has been originally derived from two different Proto-Germanic words- sandijanan and sandaz.

Sandijanan means “journey” or “go.” While Sandaz means “something that is sent.”

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However, its archaic form or the form that was used in Old English is sendan, meaning  “to throw,” send,” or “send forth.” It is linked to the Dutch word Zenden.

Some major synonyms of ‘send’ are ‘convey,’ ‘dispatch,’ ‘deliver,’ ‘forward,’ or ‘direct.’

In sentence construction, it is used as a transitive and intransitive verb. However, it is an irregular verb, meaning its spelling changes when used in sentences reflecting simple past tense (V2) or past participle (V3).

The word is used in a variety of contexts. Some of the significant contexts in which the term is applied are as mentioned below:

  • To order or make someone or something to go. For example:
    • Do send your assignment by tomorrow.
    • Send your blessings so that I can pass the exam with flying colors.
  • To make something happen. For example:
    • Whatever fate may send is fine by me.
  • To deliver something by a medium of communication. For example:
    • Send your work by email.
    • She sends a letter to her mother every week.

As evident from the examples above, the word ‘send’ is mainly used to refer to an action that has not yet begun or ended. And it is used in an active voice.

That is to say; it shows that the person or the thing denoted by the subject is the doer of an action.

‘Send’ is the present tense of the primary word. It has a future continuous tense and a continuous tense called ‘sending.’ The continuous tense refers to an ongoing action. For example:

  1.  She is sending an SMS to her father.– Present Continuous Tense
  2. She will be sending an SMS to her father.- Future Continuous Tense
send
 

When to Use Sent?

It is the past tense and inflection of the verb ‘send.’ Although it is mainly used as a verb, it can also be used as an adjective. In the form of an adjective, it refers to “something that is on its way to a particular destination”. For example:

  • It was a heaven-sent opportunity.

As a verb, it acts as both the simple past tense and the past perfect tense of the word ‘send.’ It also serves as the main word’s past continuous and past perfect continuous tense. For example:

  1. He sent a gift to his sister. – Simple Past Tense
  2. He was sent to a rehabilitation center.- Past Continuous Tense
  3. I sent you remarks on the topic yesterday.– Past Perfect Tense
  4. The assignment was forwarded to the teacher much before the expiry of the deadline.- Past Perfect Continuous Tense.
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Two things are clear from the examples mentioned above:

  1. The word ‘sent’ refers to an action that has either already begun or ended.
  2. It is used in the passive voice, which means it depicts that something is done to the object or person implied by the subject.

Another usage of the term ‘sent’ is in the form of a noun. But in its noun form, it assumes an entirely different meaning. It denotes “a currency unit of Estonia equivalent to a hundredth of one kroon.”

sent

Main Differences Between Send and Sent

  1. Both ‘send’ and ‘sent’ are verbs. But the word ‘sent’ inflects the verb ‘send.’
  2. ‘Send’ can be used only as a verb. But ‘sent’ can be used as both a verb and an objective.
  3. ‘Send’ is used in an active voice when the subject of a given sentence is the performer of the action. While ‘sent’ is used in the passive voice, that is when the subject of a particular sentence is acted upon.
  4. In sentence construction, ‘send’ is used before the beginning or completion of an activity. While ‘sent’ is used after the task has begun or ended.
  5. The homophone of ‘send’ is ‘scend’ meaning “the act of rising upward on a swell or wave.” While the homophones of ‘sent’ are ‘cent’ meaning “a hundredth part of the dollar or other metric unit of currency,” and ‘scent’ meaning “a distinct and pleasant odor or fragrance.”
Difference Between Send and Sent

References
  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/send
  2. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/sent

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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27 thoughts on “Send vs Sent: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Honestly, this was much easier to understand than other resources I’ve come across on the topic. It’s a wonderfully concise yet thorough explanation.

    Reply
  2. I think the article did a good job of breaking down the differences between ‘send’ and ‘sent.’ It’s very clear and concise in its explanations.

    Reply
  3. I’m not sure the post really adds anything new about ‘send’ and ‘sent’ that isn’t already widely known. Seemed a bit repetitive to me.

    Reply
  4. This post was quite helpful to me. I didn’t know the difference between ‘send’ and ‘sent’ before reading this article.

    Reply
  5. I had always been a bit confused about when to use ‘send’ or ‘sent’, but after reading this, I feel much clearer on the topic.

    Reply
  6. Certainly a good refresher on the differences between ‘send’ and ‘sent.’ I appreciated the detailed and informative analysis provided in this post.

    Reply
  7. The clarity of the comparison between ‘send’ and ‘sent’ was very commendable. It really helped in understanding the distinctions between the two tenses.

    Reply
  8. Great explanation about this verb. I’ve always had trouble with these tenses, and this really helped me to understand it better.

    Reply

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