Difference Between Sort and Sought

Main Difference – Sort vs Sought

Sort and Sought are another pair of homophones that can prove to be a big challenge for English learners. Although these words sound alike, they have totally different meanings. Sought is the past participle of seek whereas sort is equivalent in meaning to words like type or category. This is the main difference between sort and sought. This difference will be further analyzed in this article.

Sort – Meaning and Usage

Sort is a noun and a verb. As a noun, sort is similar in meaning to type, category or kind. The following examples will help you to understand the meaning of this noun.

He asked me all sorts of questions.

What sort of a person are you?

I think it is a sort of a rabbit – but I’m not sure.

He listens to a strange sort of music.

We didn’t know that she was running around with that sort of people.

Sort, as a verb, means to arrange something systematically or resolve a problem or difficulty. See whether you can derive this meaning from the following sentences.

I’ll help you to sort out these clothes.

We need time to sort this out.

He sat down and sorted through the mail.

Sorting pebbles, beads, and pieces of fabric and is a good activity for children.

A counselor can help you to sort out this problem.

Difference Between Sort and Sought

Sorting tomatoes

Sought – Meaning and Usage

Sought is the past tense of the verb ‘seek’. Seek means to search or look for. When you seek something, you are trying to look for something. Look at how sought has been used in the following sentences.

After years of abuse, she finally sought the help of a counselor.

He sought a solution to the problem.

We sought shelter in a lonely cabin.

The king sought a physician who could cure the prince.

The phrase ‘sought after’ is an adjective. This adjective indicates that a person is in great demand. For example,

She was the most sought-after actress in Hollywood.

They wanted to admit their son to the most famous and sought after school of the country.

This house is located in a highly sought after area in London.

Main Difference - Sort vs Sought

She finally sought the help of a doctor.

Difference Between Sort and Sought

Grammatical Category

Sort is a noun and a verb.

Sought is a verb.


Sort means to arrange systematically or resolve a problem.

Sought means to search or look for.


Sort is equivalent to type, category, and kind.

Sought is not a noun.Difference Between Sort and Sought -infographic

Image Courtesy:

“sorting tomatoes at the factory” by Gan-Shmuel archive ארכיון גן-שמואל, (CC BY 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia 

“Doctor takes blood pressure” by Bill Branson (Photographer), Source: National Cancer Institute,  Public Domain via Commons Wikimedia 

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