Aunt vs. Ant – What’s the Difference?

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

As a kid, I always got the words ant and aunt mixed up. They sound the same and are spelled so similarly that it was easy to make that mistake. But there’s an easy trick to remembering the difference, so I’ll explain the meanings of ant and aunt and show you some sentence examples.

Aunt vs. Ant: What’s the Difference?

Aunt vs. Ant Whats the Difference

There’s a big difference! An ant is a tiny industrious bug that’s well known for its remarkable strength and organized social structure. Kind of like bees, only they don’t normally fly. Ants work together as a colony to build great underground tunnels and systems and can carry over ten times their own body weight.

An aunt is a human being—the female sibling of one of your parents or the spouse of an uncle. See? It’s a massive difference, not only in size but also in meaning.

Ant and Aunt Pronunciation

The way it’s pronounced depends on what region you live in or are speaking to. For the most part, ant and aunt are homophones because they’re pronounced as ae-nt, which rhymes with the word “pant.”

But in certain places and regions, like the Southern United States, “aunt” is said like aw-nt, sort of like “haunt.”

How Do You Spell Aunt?

The correct spelling you should be using for your female relative is a-u-n-t. I know it can be tempting to spell it as a-n-t because of the pronunciation and the fact that it’s easy/shorter, but trust me, your aunt will appreciate it if you spell her title right!

Is It Auntie or Aunty for the U.K.?

Auntie vs Aunty Ngram
Auntie and aunty usage trend.

This one ties in with certain parts of Canada, too, and I think it stems from the fact that Eastern Canada has very close ties with the U.K. We share many of the same spellings, wordage, food and even fashion.

But you can use both “auntie” and “aunty” in the U.K. or for U.K. audiences. But know that “auntie” is more common for American audiences, and “aunty” is popular in British English. Both have the same meaning, so you’re good.

Ant Examples in a Sentence

  • My son watched with wonder as the tiny ant carried a piece of food, many times its own weight.
  • The kids marveled at the intricate network of tunnels in the ant farm we saw at the museum.
  • Some ants bite and sting, while others fly and dig tunnels.
  • Our picnic was going awesome until a swarm of ants invaded the sandwiches and snacks.
  • Fire ants are well known for their painful sting and aggressive behavior, so watch out for those.
  • Like a lot of colony bugs, ants communicate with each other using pheromones to relay messages within their social colony.

Aunt Examples in a Sentence

Aunt vs. Ant Whats the Difference 1
  • My great-aunt Jane always brings her famous chocolate chip cookies to family dinners.
  • When both my parents were out of town, my tough aunt used to come over to babysit us.
  • I just received an invitation to my aunt’s 100th birthday party.
  • Our family is full of artists, with my aunt being an accomplished painter, an uncle who’s a playwright, and a cousin who works with sculpting.

Know the Difference

Since one is a tiny bug and the other is a whole human being, I’d suggest you thoroughly memorize my guide to understand their meanings.

When spoken, it doesn’t matter unless you pronounce “aunt” as aw-nt. But my own trick to remember the difference is that the word “ant” has three letters, and an actual ant has three parts to its body.

Enjoyed reading about this idiom? Check out some others we covered: