• 3-minute read
  • 31st May 2020

Word Choice: Sweet vs. Suite

‘Sweet’ and ‘suite’ are homophones: words that sound the same but have different meanings. This makes it easy to mix them up in your writing, especially if you’re not used to using them. So, how do you avoid errors when using these words? Check out our tips below to find out.

Sweet (Sugary or Pleasant)

The word ‘sweet’ can be an adjective or a noun. As an adjective, it describes something as having a sugary taste or smell:

The pineapple is sweet and juicy.

Her perfume smelled sweet.

But ‘sweet’ can also describe something that is pleasant or satisfying:

He is a sweet person and does many good deeds.

She has a sweet singing voice.

As a noun, meanwhile, a ‘sweet’ is a dessert:

There were several sweets on the menu, including chocolate cake.

Or it can be a sugary treat:

I bought my son a bag of sweets.

This use of ‘sweet’ is most common in British English, whereas we are more likely to say ‘lollies’ in Australia (in the US, they call the same treats ‘candy’).

In summary, this term always refers to something sugary or pleasant.

Tasty sweet treats!
Tasty sweet treats!
(Photo: Daria-Yakovleva)

Suite (A Set of Items)

‘Suite’ is a noun that refers to a set of items that are used together. We could have a series of connected rooms in a hotel:

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 We booked the hotel’s honeymoon suite.

A ‘suite’ can also refer to a set of matching furniture:

Her lounge suite comprised a couch and two armchairs.

Or we could use ‘suite’ to describe a set of related computer programs:

We sell the popular Microsoft Office suite of applications.

In music, meanwhile, a ‘suite’ is a set of pieces that can be played one after the other. They are mostly associated with classical music:

Many seventeenth-century composers wrote suites.

Traditionally, the ‘movements’ in a musical suite are tonally or thematically linked (e.g. all being in the same key or on the same instruments).

In all cases, though, a ‘suite’ will be a set of related things.

Summary: Sweet or Suite?

While these words sound alike, the difference is:

  • Sweet can be a noun or an adjective, but it always refers to something that is sugary or pleasant.
  • A suite is a set of connected things that are intended for use together.

If you are ever unsure which word to use, remember that ‘sweet’ is always pleasant, never bitter. And if you would like expert help to ensure your writing is error free, why not try our proofreading service?


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