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Noticed vs. Noted: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 12, 2023
"Noticed" implies perceiving something through the senses, while "Noted" means making a mental or physical record of something observed. Both pertain to awareness but differ in subsequent action or intention.

Key Differences

"Noticed" leans towards a passive absorption or registration of information via sensory input. When one has "noticed" something, it suggests an act of recognizing or discerning something in their environment. For instance, "He noticed a strange odor in the room," demonstrates an unconscious act of perception. This does not always necessitate a subsequent action or reaction, simply an awareness.
Conversely, "Noted" implies a subsequent action following the act of noticing, often involving some form of documentation or recognition that may or may not be expressed. For example, "She noted the time of the incident in her report," entails an action (recording the time) that followed the initial perception (observing the incident). "Noted" can also involve a mental registration with potential for future reference.
It’s critical to understand that "Noticed" implies no agency in terms of recording or remembering the perceived information. In casual conversation, if someone says, “I noticed the flowers have bloomed,” they're sharing a passive observation, possibly provoked by the visual aesthetic of the flowers. The word "noticed" is especially common in daily exchanges, emphasizing passive observations that might be shared to foster social interactions.
The term "Noted," while encapsulating the act of observation similar to "noticed," more strongly conveys a deliberate, often purposeful, recognition and registration of the observed. When a scientist says, “I noted a reaction when the two substances mixed,” they are implying a meticulous observation followed by some form of documentation or mental record. The word "noted" is synonymous with a methodical, often professional or formal observation that may be critical for reference.
Both "Noticed" and "Noted" can find a home in various contexts but differ in implication and application. Understanding the subtle distinction aids effective communication, ensuring both observational sharing and purposeful documentation are accurately conveyed in discourse.

Comparison Chart


Perceiving through the senses
Making a mental or physical record




Generally informal
Can be formal or informal

Active/Passive Voice

Typically used in passive voice
Can be used in both active and passive voice

Example Sentence

She noticed the painting on the wall.
He noted the main points of the lecture.

Noticed and Noted Definitions


Detected inadvertently.
They noticed a peculiar smell in the basement.


Made noteworthy or remarkable.
The building was noted in the historical registry.


Identified a change or difference.
She noticed a slight limp in her dog’s walk.


Mentally registered for future use.
He noted every flaw in the argument silently.


Perceived with one’s senses.
She noticed a tear in his eye.


Acknowledged with attention.
The teacher noted his absence from class.


Became aware of.
I noticed your new haircut immediately.


Recorded in writing.
She noted the password down carefully.


Observed without actively looking for.
He noticed the bird singing outside casually.


Widely known or distinguished, as by reputation; famous
A noted physician.
A political campaign noted for its mudslinging.


The act of noting or observing; perception or attention
That detail escaped my notice.


Well known because of one's reputation; famous, celebrated.


Respectful attention or consideration
Grateful for the teacher's notice.


Simple past tense and past participle of note


A written or printed announcement
A notice of sale.


Well known by reputation or report; eminent; famous; prominent; celebrated; as, a noted author, or traveler.


A formal announcement, notification, or warning, especially an announcement of one's intention to withdraw from an agreement or leave a job
Gave my employer two weeks' notice.
Raised the price without notice.


Widely known and esteemed;
A famous actor
A celebrated musician
A famed scientist
An illustrious judge
A notable historian
A renowned painter


The condition of being formally warned or notified
Put us on notice for chronic lateness.


Worthy of notice or attention;
A noted increase in the crime rate


A printed critical review, as of a play or book.


Recognized for a particular quality or skill.
The actor was noted for his theatrical performances.


To take notice of; observe
Noticed a figure in the doorway. ].


Simple past tense and past participle of notice


Being perceived or observed;
An easily noticed effect on the rate of growth


Can "noticed" and "noted" be used interchangeably?

While sometimes used interchangeably in casual speech, "noticed" often refers to passive observation, while "noted" implies recording or specifically acknowledging information.

Can "noted" refer to a mental record?

Yes, "noted" can refer to either a mental or physical (written) record of something observed.

Is "noted" always formal?

"Noted" can be used in both formal and informal contexts but is often associated with a more formal or deliberate acknowledgment.

Is "noted" used only in past tense?

No, "noted" can be used in various tenses (e.g., notes, noting, will note), depending on context.

Can "noticed" apply to non-physical observations?

Yes, one can notice physical phenomena or abstract concepts, like noticing a mood or atmosphere.

Is "noticing" always about visual observation?

No, "noticing" can pertain to any sensory observation, such as hearing a sound or smelling an odor.

Is "noticed" always about something present?

"Noticed" usually pertains to perceiving something in one's immediate context but could also refer to recalling past observations in some uses.

Does "noticed" always involve conscious awareness?

Generally, yes. "Noticed" implies a level of conscious awareness about the observation.

Do "noticed" and "noted" imply attention to detail?

"Noticed" can be a casual observation, while "noted" often implies more attention to detail and intentionality.

When should I use "noted" in professional communication?

"Noted" is apt when acknowledging receipt or understanding of information, often to confirm that the message is received and understood.

Does "noticed" imply the significance of the observation?

Not necessarily. One might notice something without deeming it significant or worthy of attention.

Can "noticed" refer to future observations?

Typically, "noticed" refers to something already observed, while predictions about future observations might use “will notice” or “might notice”.

Can "noticed" imply an intention to remember?

Not necessarily. "Noticed" doesn’t inherently convey an intention to remember or act upon something observed.

Does "noted" imply agreement?

Not always. "Noted" signifies acknowledgment but not necessarily agreement or approval.

Does "noted" imply precision in observation?

"Noted" implies deliberate acknowledgment but doesn’t inherently convey precision or accuracy in observation.

Can "noted" be about something negative?

Yes, "noted" can refer to the acknowledgment of both positive and negative observations.

Can "noted" be used without following action?

While "noted" implies acknowledgment, it doesn’t always require subsequent action.

Is "noted" more common in specific contexts or fields?

"Noted" is widely used but might be more prevalent in professional, academic, or formal contexts.

Is "noticed" related to distraction?

Not inherently, but noticing unexpected or unrelated stimuli might be described as a distraction in some contexts.

Can "noticed" refer to accidental observations?

Yes, one can notice something without actively looking for it.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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