Site vs. Cite – 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.

Homophones are seemingly basic words that sound the same when spoken but actually have totally different meanings and sometimes spellings. Look at the terms “cite” and “site.” They can easily be mixed up because of their identical pronunciation and also because only a single letter separates them in spelling. So, I’ll give you a short version of everything you need to know.

Is It Cite or Site?

Would you believe that one is a noun and the other is a verb? The choice to use “cite” and “site” is going to depend on the context you’re using. “Cite” is a verb that means to quote a source, but “site” is a noun to describe a certain place.

  • You cite a source when writing an article.
  • You go to a job site when you work in construction.

Sited vs. Cited: Meanings and When to Use Each

The word “site” can also function as a verb, meaning to put or build something in a particular location. “Sited” is the past tense of the verb “site.” So, you’d use it when expressing where something is located or built.

  • The new school playground is now sited behind the school, instead of in front.

“Cited” is the past tense verb for “cite.” You’d use it to state that something has included a source of information.

  • That article has been properly cited.

Siting or Citing? What’s the Difference?

“Siting” is the gerund or present participle form of the verb “site,” meaning to locate or put something in a specific area.

Similarly, “citing” is used as the gerund or present participle of the verb “cite,” meaning to quote or refer to some trusted source as evidence to support your statement or argument.

  • We’re having a town meeting about siting the new fire hall on the west side.
  • I know I’ve been citing this article correctly because I double-checked the sources.

Is It a Construction Site or Cite?

As someone who spent nearly ten years working on the design side of construction, I know the correct term you should use is “construction site.”

Is It Site or Cite for a Website?

Use “site” if you want to be correct when talking about a website. Websites are digital locations, making “site” the best term in this case.

What Are the Synonyms for Cite?

  • Quote
  • Name
  • Mention
  • Refer to
  • Allude to

Synonyms for Site

  • Place
  • Location
  • Spot
  • Position

Site Examples in a Sentence

  • Our team of archaeologists discovered an ancient burial site during their excavation and brought items back to the university.
  • The company my sister runs is planning to launch a new e-commerce site next month.
  • The city council chose the downtown location as the site for the new family park.
  • My manager conducted a safety inspection at the construction site, making us feel safer.
  • The mansion is impressively sited high up on a mountain.

Cite Examples in a Sentence

  • As a researcher, I cited several studies to support my argument.
  • Most of the students failed to cite their sources in the essay I assigned.
  • The judge cited a previous court ruling in her decision to find him guilty.
  • The scientist cited the latest data in his Ted Talk presentation on climate change.

Site and Cite Are Two Different Terms

I hope my explanation and quick tips helped you better understand the differences between site and cite. They’re two completely different terms and don’t work when used interchangeably.