Example vs Sample

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What’s the difference between them?

Example

Meaning:

situation that shows how a larger idea or group works. It's meant to show or explain a certain idea or concept.

Examples:

1. Can you give me an example of how to solve this problem?

2. She gave numerous examples of her previous work experience.

3. Let me give you a concrete example to illustrate my point.

Sample

Meaning:

part that is typical of a bigger group or community. It's used to test, analyze, or judge things in order to draw opinions about the group as a whole.

Examples:

1. I took a sample of the soil to send to the lab for analysis.

2. The company sent me a sample of their new product to try out.

3. We took a random sample of the population for our survey.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Example

1. Illustration

2. Instance

3. Representation

4. Demonstration

5. Sample

1. Exception

2. Anomaly

3. Aberration

4. Irregularity

5. Deviation

Sample

1. Example

2. Specimen

3. Model

4. Exemplar

5. Illustration

1. Whole

2. Entirety

3. Totality

4. Aggregate

5. Complete

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Example", "Sample".

1. An example is a model of behavior, or a representation of an idea.

2. A sample, on the other hand, is a small portion or fragment of something that is representative of the whole.

3. To easily remember the difference between example and sample, remember that an example is like an exemplar (which means a model or exemplary person or thing) and a sample is like sampling (which means to take a small portion).

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

When should 'Example' be used?

Example should be used when providing a concrete example to illustrate a point. Examples can be used to help explain a concept, to provide evidence for an argument, or to demonstrate how a task should be done.

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'Sample'?

Sample should be used to refer to a group or selection taken from a larger population. The sample group should be representative of the population as a whole, and the results of studying the sample can be used to make conclusions about the greater population.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, example and sample do not share the same pronunciation. Example is typically pronounced /ekzampl/, while sample is pronounced /sempl/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One common mistake is using the words interchangeably, when in fact they have different meanings and contexts. Another mistake is confusing the pronunciation of the two words. People may also mistakenly think that a sample is an example, when in fact a sample is a subset of a population.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. We need to provide a ____ of our product in order to convince potential customers.

2. I can provide you with a ____ of my handwriting to demonstrate the quality of my penmanship.

3. Here is a ____ of the new software update that you can try out.

4. Seeing a ____ of the dress helped me decide on the perfect size to buy for my sister.

5. The professor asked us to submit a ____ of our report before the end of the week.

6. Downloading this ____ of the song will give you a better idea of the artists style.

1. We need to provide a Sample of our product in order to convince potential customers.

Explanation: Sample is used to refer to a portion of something that allows people to get an understanding of what it is like; in this case, providing a sample of the product will allow potential customers to gain an understanding of the product to determine if they want it.

2. I can provide you with a Example of my handwriting to demonstrate the quality of my penmanship.

Explanation: Example is used to refer to something that can be used to illustrate a point; in this case, providing an example of the handwriting can be used to illustrate the quality of the penmanship.

3. Here is a Sample of the new software update that you can try out.

Explanation: Sample is used to refer to a portion of something that allows people to get an understanding of what it is like; in this case, providing a sample of the software update will allow people to get an understanding of what the update is like and try it out.

4. Seeing a Example of the dress helped me decide on the perfect size to buy for my sister.

Explanation: Example is used to refer to something that can be used to illustrate a point; in this case, seeing an example of the dress is used to illustrate what the dress looks like, allowing the person to determine the size that should be purchased for the sister.

5. The professor asked us to submit a Sample of our report before the end of the week.

Explanation: Sample is used to refer to a portion of something that allows people to get an understanding of what it is like; in this case, providing a sample of the report will allow the professor to gain an understanding of the report to determine if it meets the requirements.

6. Downloading this Example of the song will give you a better idea of the artists style.

Explanation: Example is used to refer to something that can be used to illustrate a point; in this case, downloading an example of the song can be used to illustrate the artists style and give the person a better idea of what it sounds like.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.