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Sell vs. Sale: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 14, 2023
Sell is a verb meaning to exchange something for money; Sale is a noun referring to the act of selling or a discounted price.

Key Differences

Sell is an action verb that denotes the act of giving something in exchange for money or other compensation. Sale, on the other hand, is a noun that refers to the event or instance when an item is sold.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023
When someone wants to sell a product, they are engaging in the process of finding a buyer and negotiating a price. When that process concludes and the exchange happens, that event can be termed a sale.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023
If you sell your car, you are performing an action where you transfer ownership of the car to another individual. Once the transaction is complete, the car is said to be "on sale" if it was offered at a discounted price.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023
A store that wishes to sell its products will often have a sale to attract customers. Here, the act of selling is the action, and the sale represents the event or the discounted offer.
Janet White
Oct 14, 2023
In essence, while sell involves the act of offering and transferring ownership, sale pertains to the event or occasion when such a transaction happens or the discounted offer itself.
Sara Rehman
Oct 14, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Verb
Noun
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

Meaning

To give something in exchange for money.
The act of selling or a discounted offer.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

Example

I want to sell my phone.
The phone is on sale.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

Used in a Phrase

Sell out (all items have been sold).
Flash sale (a short, often unexpected discount).
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

Tense Variation

Selling (present participle), Sold (past tense and past participle).
No tense variations as it is a noun.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 14, 2023
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Sell and Sale Definitions

Sell

To betray or deceive someone.
You shouldn't sell your friends out.
Harlon Moss
Oct 14, 2023

Sale

An offered discount or reduced price on an item.
The shoes are on sale for half price.
Harlon Moss
Oct 14, 2023

Sell

To persuade someone of the merits of.
He could sell anyone on his ideas.
Harlon Moss
Oct 14, 2023

Sale

An event where items are sold at a reduced price.
There's a big sale at the mall.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

Sell

To offer for sale and acceptance.
They sell their services to the highest bidder.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

Sale

Transfer of property for money or credit.
The sale of goods.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

Sell

To transfer ownership in exchange for money.
I want to sell my laptop.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

Sale

The act or process of selling something.
The sale of the house was finalized yesterday.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Sell

To dispose of by sale.
They sell the fruit at the local market.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

Sale

An auction.
The painting went to sale and fetched a high price.
Harlon Moss
Oct 14, 2023

Sell

To exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent
We sold our old car for a modest sum.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 26, 2017

Sale

The exchange of goods or services for an amount of money or its equivalent; the act of selling
The sale of such a nice house should be easy.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 26, 2017

Sell

To offer or have available for sale
The store sells health foods.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 26, 2017

Sale

A selling of property to the highest bidder; an auction.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 26, 2017

FAQs

Is "sale" a noun or a verb?

Sale is a noun.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

When someone says, "That's a hard sell," what do they mean?

They mean that something is difficult to persuade others to accept or buy.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

What part of speech is "sell"?

Sell is a verb.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

How do I use "sale" in a sentence?

For example, "The house is up for sale."
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

Can "sale" indicate an auction event?

Yes, an auction can be referred to as a "sale."
Sara Rehman
Oct 14, 2023

Can I say "I want to sale my car"?

No, the correct phrase is "I want to sell my car."
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

If I've already transferred ownership, have I "sell" or "sold" the item?

You have "sold" the item.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

If I'm referring to a specific event where items are reduced in price, which word do I use?

Use "sale" for such events.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

Can I use "selling" as the present participle of "sell"?

Yes, "selling" is the present participle of "sell."
Aimie Carlson
Oct 14, 2023

Is "sales" the plural of "sale"?

Yes, "sales" can refer to multiple instances of selling or discounted offers.
Sara Rehman
Oct 14, 2023

Can "sell" be used as a noun?

Not commonly. Typically, "sell" is a verb, while "sale" is the noun.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

If something is popular and quickly bought by many, can I say it "sells like hotcakes"?

Yes, "sells like hotcakes" means something is selling very quickly and in large quantities.
Sara Rehman
Oct 14, 2023

Can I use "sell" to mean "betray"?

Yes, as in "He sold his friend out."
Aimie Carlson
Oct 14, 2023

Which is correct: "I sell my car" or "I sale my car"?

"I sell my car" is correct.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

If a store is getting rid of its inventory, is it having a "sell" or a "sale"?

It is having a "sale."
Janet White
Oct 14, 2023

What does it mean when a store advertises a "flash sale"?

A "flash sale" means a short-term discount, often unexpected.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

What's the difference between "salesman" and "sale"?

A "salesman" is a person who sells products, while a "sale" is the act of selling or a discounted offer.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

If I want to emphasize the action of selling, which word should I use?

Use "sell" to emphasize the action.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 14, 2023

What does "sell out" mean?

"Sell out" can mean all items have been sold, or it can mean to betray someone for personal gain.
Sara Rehman
Oct 14, 2023

What's the past tense of "sell"?

The past tense of "sell" is "sold."
Harlon Moss
Oct 14, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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