Grammar Lessons with Kate: Sell vs. sale

Sell vs. sale

by Kate Asbury Larkin

In honor of the six yard sales I stopped by this morning, today we’ll tackle these two words, which really aren’t that hard at all; one is a noun and one is a verb.

“Sale” is a noun; it serves as an object and is not an action word. Different ways to use “sale” in a sentence include: A product is for sale, an item is on sale, or a store is having a sale. A sale can be defined as the act of selling, which is an object and not a verb. Sales also refer to events when objects are sold at a reduced price (yard sale) or an indication that an item is available for purchase (car for sale).

on the other hand…

“Sell” is almost always a verb. To sell something is to exchange that something for money or to persuade, such as, “the sound of the engine really sells this model.”

The one time sell is used as a noun: “Getting me to agree to cheer for Bama will be a hard sell.”

I didn’t include “cell” because I am absolutely positive I don’t have any Facebook friends who confuse cell with sell. If I do…

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