Dessert and Desert

The words, “dessert” and “desert” a source of common confusion. With these words, the main problem is to know where should these words be used, and which pronunciation belongs to which word.

These words are a part of a larger family called homophones.

Homophones

Homophones are those words which are pronounced with a similar way of pronunciation. These words often appear to be spelled out in a similar fashion as well. But there is a slight difference between the words. The point of confusion lies in the pronunciation and the similar way of being spelled.

Some examples to demonstrate homophones:

  • Tail and Tale
  • See and Sea
  • By, Bye and Buy

Understanding Dessert and Desert

Dessert

The word “dessert” is probably one of the most loved words of all the words. Dessert can be defined as a sweet dish or anything sweet which is usually eaten after a meal. It can also suggest the last course of the meal.

Fun Fact: “Dessert” has its roots in the French word “desservir”. “Des” in the word means to clear or to remove and the part “servir” means to “un-serve”.

Examples:

  • I won’t be staying for dessert
  • The children eagerly waited for the dessert to be served.
  • Can I have ice cream for dessert?

Desert

The word “desert” has three separate forms of usage.  This words can be used as a noun, adjective and as well as a verb.

The most common usage is for the defining a “wasteland” or for a land which has no vegetation. It is usually associated with large areas without sand, water, and vegetation. The second form of using this word is to explain or define abandonment. In that case, it means to leave a person without any help or support. Additionally, it can also mean “empty”.

Examples:

  • I hear finding an oasis in a desert is quite difficult. (desert used as an arid land)
  • Alice told her reassured her parents that she will not desert (desert used as a term for abandonment)
  • My mother forbade me from going to the deserted house at the end of the street. (Deserted is a form of “desert”. Here it is used to express emptiness)

To Summarize:

  • The words, “dessert” and “desert” are a part of
  • Homophones are a pair of words or a group of words which are spelled in a similar manner and have a similar pronunciation.
  • Dessert refers to something sweet or a sweet meal after the main meal.
  • The word dessert comes from the French word desservir.
  • Desert can be used in three ways, (a) as a definition of a vast wasteland with no water and vegetation, (b) to leave someone behind and (c) to express the meaning of the word “empty”.