Confusing words: ON sale x FOR sale

Now that’s a word most women know, regardless of their mother tongue: SALE.

But what’s the difference between ON sale and For sale?

Basically, FOR sale means that something is available to be bought, especially from the owner. Look at the photo below, and the accompanying sentence:

Look, honey, that house is for sale. Let’s have a look at it!

Now, can you see the difference in meaning on the photo and sentence below?:

The shoes in that store are on sale! I’m sure I can find some good ones!

ON sale here means that the price of the shoes is lower than usual.

However, look at this example, and see if you can figure out the meaning of the expression on sale here:

– I’d love to go to the game, but I’m not sure the tickets are already on sale…
– Yes, they are! I’ve just seen an ad on TV!

Does that mean the tickets are being sold for a cheaper price? Actually, it means that they are available to be bought, but from a store/ agency, not directly from the owner.

Here’s one more example, just to make things clear:

Got it?



Filed under learn, tips

3 responses to “Confusing words: ON sale x FOR sale

  1. Patricia Meza

    Thanks for your time to teach us what you consider important.

  2. João B. L. Ghizoni

    Very good explanation and examples, Carol. Great work! Keep it up! Have a nice week!

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